Exclusive: Turmoil in TN BJP and a big challenge for Annamalai...Are these two leaders quitting the party?

Recently, Tamil Nadu BJP Headquarters 'Kamalalayam' was on headlines after a petrol bomb was hurled in its premises. It is now waiting to have a similar headline through a bombshell from two senior leaders who are in the mind of exiting the party. Such events would cast a big challenge to state president Annamalai to retain his reign in the state unit. 

According to our sources, two senior leaders VP Duraisamy and Gayathri Raghuram are in the mind of leaving the party as they have developed dissatisfaction over Annamalai's leadership. Sources close to these leaders have divulged that both of them may bid adieu to the party after the results of the urban local body polls, in which the party is contesting alone for the first time in recent elections. 

The local body polls will be the first election for Annamalai as the BJP President and it will be testing his chemistry with the political leadership. In the midst of being the youngest-ever BJP Chief for Tamil Nadu, the results would have the key to deciding his leadership with the BJP. Our sources say that some of the senior leaders had expressed their displeasure over his leadership and there were several complaints lined up against him at the Central leadership unit. 

It has been reported that former Tamil Nadu BJP President and sitting Union Minister of State L Murugan had dissented against Annamalai and has some complaints against him. BJP General Secretary CT Ravi is backing L Murugan in his regard and Annamalai may be called for Delhi after the elections to set things straight in the state unit. If trouble mounts for Annamalai, his tenure with the Tamil Nadu BJP would come to an end and he may get appointed as the party's in-charge for Karnataka. 

With the hope that Annamalai will be moved to the neighbouring state, former state president Pon Radhakrishnan is now bidding to replace Annamalai in Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, if VP Duraisamy and Gayathri Raghuram exit the party, a handful of cadres will follow them. Duraisamy was earlier with the DMK where he served as the party's deputy general secretary and he joined the BJP in 2020. Though Duraisamy is a part of BJP's leadership unit in the state, he is dissatisfied with Annamalai's leadership. 

Duraisamy may join the DMK back like his colleague Ku Ka Selvam, who had recently joined back the DMK. Selvam had got elected as a DMK MLA in Chennai in 2016 and in 2020, he had quitted the DMK after Duraisamy. Though he didn't officially proclaim that he had joined the BJP owing to his MLA post, he had said he would act as an independent legislator. Apart from the assembly sessions, Selvam had acted as a BJP leader and he had campaigned for the saffron party during the 2021 assembly polls. 

However, the BJP had faced a debacle and the entire Chennai was swept by the DMK, which formed the government under MK Stalin. Selvam wasn't active with the BJP in recent times and he had then made up his mind to join DMK again. Recently, he had officially joined the DMK in the presence of Chief Minister MK Stalin and senior leaders. It has been reported that Duraisamy will now follow Selvam and join the DMK. On the front of why Selvam had exited the party, our sources say that Selvam's conditions, which were discussed under the leadership of L Murugan, weren't fulfilled by the BJP due to which he had decided to join the DMK.