In what has become a shocking piece of news for Edappadi Palaniswami and the ADMK faction amid the incessant falters, a former MLA has on Wednesday quitted the party and joined the BJP, which observes alliance with ADMK. Former ADMK MLA K Manickam has joined BJP in front of Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai at the party's event held in Tiruppur. The event was also attended by senior BJP leaders like H Raja, CT Ravi, and Pon Radhakrishnan.
K Manickam was a member of the 15th Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 2016-2021 and as an ADMK MLA, he had represented the Sholavandhan constituency in the Madurai district. Being known as one of the staunch loyalists of ADMK, Manickam was one of the leaders of the ADMK's eleven-member steering committee that was formed before the 2021 assembly polls. Manickam belongs to the Devendrakula Vellalar community and was considered to be close to ADMK's Chief coordinator O Panneerselvam.
His sudden exit from the party had stirred a fresh debate over why he has quit the party and chosen saffron camp for his politics. Manickam has got major attention when he bowed down and touched the leg of Panneerselvam's son Ravindranath Kumar during filing nomination for the 2021 assembly polls from the Sholavandhan constituency. Before entering politics, Manickam was into taking contracts of the public works department and in the previous DMK regime, he had taken a major number of contracts from the public works department and rose to prominence.
In 2011, after ADMK came to power, Manickam had become the loyalist of O Panneerselvam and he also had continued taking government contracts even in the ADMK rule. As a staunch supporter of Jayalalithaa, Manickam had given his own land to the party to conduct political campaigns in Madurai. Jayalalithaa got impressed by Manickam's contribution to the party and she had given him the ADMK ticket to contest in the Sholavandhan constituency in the 2016 polls.
Jayalalithaa had also appointed Manickam as the Deputy District Secretary of ADMK in Madurai. Following the demise of Jayalalithaa, Manickam had joined O Panneerselvam's camp and he was again given a ticket to contest from Solavandhan in the 2021 assembly polls. However, this time he has lost the race to DMK's Venkatesan by the margin of over 17,000 votes. Despite the debacle, Manickam was appointed as a member of the ADMKs steering committee.
However, after ADMK lost its power in the state, Manickam was thinking of joining the DMK. However, he wasn't invited and he was not active in ADMK for the past few months. After several episodes of thought, Manickam has now joined BJP in front of state BJP President Annamalai. His joining has come weeks ahead of the urban local body polls and it has been reported that several of his supporters in ADMK will also be joining the BJP.
Tamil Nadu | Former AIADMK MLA K Manickam joined BJP in the presence of State BJP president K Annamalai this morning in Tiruppur pic.twitter.com/eXT5OhVuyY— ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2021