Ahead of a crucial meeting with Union Home Minister and veteran BJP leader Amit Shah, that has been scheduled to take place on April 26, ADMK General Secretary Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) has on Monday - April 24 backtracked his decision and announced that the party's lone candidate in Karnataka would pull out from the contest, which would make ADMK come out of the race in Karnataka, though the party would support its ally BJP.
ADMK is one of the regional parties supporting BJP and amidst several political furores, both the parties assert that their alliance would bump along during the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. In recent times, there were apparent clashes between the ADMK and Tamil Nadu BJP unit chief Annamalai, where the latter vowed that he would step down from his post if the saffron party allies with the former in the general elections. His statement sparked a divide but it wasn't received well by the Central BJP leadership.
Amit Shah, one of the key decision makers of BJP, has asserted that the alliance with ADMK will continue and when the Karnataka assembly poll schedule was announced, it was expected that ADMK will campaign for the BJP in the state where the party aims to retain its reign. However, as EPS won the leadership battle against his intra-party rival O Panneerselvam (OPS) and became ADMK's general secretary, he worked out to revive the party's base under his leadership.
ADMK has voteshare in Karnataka as the party had contested in several elections in the state. With the view of contesting in the assembly polls again, EPS reached out to the BJP leadership and asked to allocate some seats for the ADMK. ADMK expected seats that have strong presence of Tamil people and as the BJP leadership was said to haven't responded positively to EPS, he went on to announce ADMK's candidate.
Earlier, EPS announced that ADMK's D Anbarasan would contest from the Pulikeshi Nagar constituency. Notably, Anbarasan was in the state to compete directly against BJP's candidate Murali and it was expected that such clash would produce an adverse impact to the ADMK-BJP alliance in Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, as EPS announced his candidate, his rival OPS had also said that he would field three candidates in Karnataka as both the leaders were on the way to set up a new stage to cross swords.
However, the nominations filed by the OPS-backed candidates didn't take off as they were out of the race. Last week, it was official that EPS would meet Amit Shah in Delhi after becoming the party's general secretary. Ahead of their rendezvous, it was expected that EPS will also pull his candidate out of the race in Karnataka and would support BJP. As expected, the announcement for the same came out on Monday from EPS.
In his statement, EPS claimed that senior BJP leaders from Delhi had spoken to him over the phone on Monday and sought the withdrawal of ADMK's candidate Anbarasan from the Pulikeshi Nagar constituency. Following the request from the BJP leaders, EPS announced that ADMK's Anbarasan has withdrawn his nomination and with that, ADMK is out of the race in Karnataka, which will go for a single-phase poll on May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13.