Ties With AIADMK Strained, BJP’s Annamalai Pulls Him Out Again: Told Party, Let’s Fight Alone IG News

Seen as one of the factors behind the BJP’s strained relations with ally AIADMK, K Annamalai Have made headway.

Addressing a meeting of BJP’s state-level office-bearers on Friday, the party’s Tamil Nadu president called upon the BJP to sever its ties with the AIADMK for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls if the party decided to work as an “ordinary cadre”. offered to disagree with him.

A top BJP leader present in the meeting said Annamalai argued that only by contesting elections alone, the party could effectively combat corruption and nepotism and promote good governance. According to the leader, an emotional Annamalai said, the path will not be without difficulty. But he urged party members to embrace the extraordinary pain required to raise the party from the ground up. He also said that he would brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss his position on the alliance further.

For many BJP veterans, who have witnessed Annamalai’s rapid rise in the party ranks after taking VRS from the IPS, this was the typical bluff of the young, swashbuckling leader. Regional parties in Tamil Nadu expect some respect from their national allies, he points out, and Annamalai could hurt the party’s cause at a time when the AIADMK is finally getting its home after the demise of Jayalalithaa.

At least two senior BJP leaders in the state and a top RSS leader said the party would not heed Annamalai’s advice, with one saying they might even call his bluff.

Earlier, 13 BJP leaders of varying seniority, who were seen as having differences with Annamalai, quit the party and were welcomed with open arms by the AIADMK, with Annamalai expressing his displeasure. Among the 13, BJP IT wing chief CTR Nirmal Kumar was inducted into the AIADMK by its top leader Edappadi K Palaniswami, hours after he quit the BJP, attacking Annamalai’s style of functioning and self-styled godmanship.

Annamalai declared: “I want to work as a leader, not as a manager. I want to run this party the way J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi ran their parties. If this angers a section of my party, then I cannot do anything about it.

Annamalai is seen deriving his strength from the support of BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh as well as the unwavering support he has received so far from the central leadership.

However, at the same time, there is a bit of confusion within the BJP that the party may break ties with the AIADMK, especially as the countdown to the 2024 general elections has already begun and the BJP is trying to increase its numbers in the south.

A top RSS leader dismissed Annamalai’s speech as “emotional”, unbecoming of a man of his position. “Can he make such statements while holding the position of head of state? If he is involved in electoral politics, he should continuously engage in dialogue and negotiation to find a middle ground,” said the leader, giving Annamalai the benefit of the doubt because of his age (he is in his 30s).

A senior BJP leader said that there was no question of breaking the alliance with the AIADMK. “We consider it important in national politics as well. We will contest together, and the BJP will secure at least 10 seats within the alliance. Either Annamalai needs to change his aggressive stand on the alliance, or he will soon start working as an ordinary cadre,” said the leader.