Even after getting caught in deep waters in a state where the party is enduring an acute political struggle for survival, Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai is not giving up his anti-ADMK approach as he has broken his silence a day after ADMK officially and indeed staunchly announced that it is ending its alliance with the BJP. For BJP, ADMK is one of the largest partners in the alliance and their exit would leave the saffron party in a lurch.
Losing the ADMK in its alliance would cost BJP with more struggles and challenges to survive in a state like Tamil Nadu, where the anti-BJP electorate is getting rampant. By leaving the alliance, ADMK had scathingly attacked Annamalai for his incessant remarks against the ADMK leaders and its cadres. The ADMK leadership has accused Annamalai of defaming the party's icons CN Annadurai and J Jayalalithaa and when ADMK urged the BJP's central command to instruct Annamalai not to cross the lines, the latter had gone beyond the pale.
The ADMK leaders in recent times had expressed their disappointments over Annamalai's conduct and earlier this month, senior ADMK leader D Jayakumar declared that there is no alliance with the BJP. On Monday, the ADMK leadership echoed the same by passing a resolution to officially end its ties with the BJP. The decision to leave the alliance was taken in a meeting at the ADMK headoffice and it was attended by the party's general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami, party's MLAs, MPs, and district secretaries.
In the meeting, ADMK passed a resolution to part ways with the BJP. In a statement, the party said that over the last year, the BJP has targeted the leaders of the ADMK and has criticised them, thereby forcing the party to end its alliance with the BJP. The reolution further said that the BJP's leadership in Tamil Nadu has been wantonly speaking derogatorily about the party's ideological leaders including CN Annadurai and Jayalalithaa.
The resolution added that such behaviour from BJP had frustrated ADMK leaders and cadres. While addressing the reporters after the meeting, ADMK leader Jayakumar said, "ADMK had passed a resolution unanimously in the meeting. ADMK is breaking all ties with the BJP and NDA from today as the state leadership of BJP has been continuously making unnecessary remarks about our former leaders, our general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami, and our cadres for the past one year."
When the ADMK announced its decision to end its alliance with the BJP, Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai was in his pada yatra and when he encountered a question about the alliance break up from the ADMK, Annamalai, who had slammed the ADMK earlier, was refrained to just say, "Politics can't be discussed during the yatra and that the BJP's central high command will speak about it in the right time."
While Annamalai didn't speak about the end of the alliance, there were celebrations from the cadres of both the parties. The ADMK cadres celebrated the decision to leave from the BJP alliance by bursting crackers and by trending a social media hashtag #ThankYouDon'tComeBack, asking BJP not to come back to the alliance, similar celebrations were seen in the BJP's camps.
In the midst of these developments and when the BJP's central leadership remains tight-lipped about losing a crucial partner in Tamil Nadu, Annamalai has broken his silence during the night hours of Monday and hinted that he is not giving up his political tussle with the ADMK. By citing that the BJP is facing a challenging time and that the party should gear up to oppose many people, Annamalai had expressed his resolve to overcome all hurdles to drive the party towards a political change.
He asserted that he is prepared to take on individuals and he wanted the cadres to be prepared to take on those who oppose them and to win and ensure a change of the regime. While addressing the party cadres during the night hours of Monday in Pollachi amidst his pada yatra, Annamalai said, "We have seen the need for a political change. This is a challenging time. We need to oppose many."
PTI quoted Annamalai saying, "If I don't do certain things, then I will lose the trust you have placed in me. We need to face challenges, overcome hurdles, take a stance to oppose some individuals." He further said that if the party wants to ensure this, it should gear up in this direction. Reacting to Annamalai's remarks, political observers say that he is strongly pitching to oppose the party's foes including the ADMK as he has been for a long time spreading his politics against ADMK.
Earlier this March, he exposed his anti-ADMK approach by declaring that he will step down from his post if BJP allies with the ADMK in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Now, as the parties are getting ready for the Lok Sabha polls, things are happening as he planned or as he wanted as the ADMK has exited the BJP. While ADMK has come out of the alliance, it is now working to revive its trust with the Tamil Nadu people, particularly from the minorities, who were angered against the party for allying with Hindutva-backed BJP.
However, the experts also assert that the alliance break up between ADMK and BJP would eventually end as a drama as a question of how long the ADMK-BJP divorce will last remains strongly among the public. While the ADMK leaders and cadres hail the exit, the political observers say that the break up won't last long and ADMK could change its decision if Annamalai is removed from the state leadership, if any central BJP leader directly intervenes in the matter, and if ADMK wins its bid to lead the alliance in the state in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.