Amid high-voltage tensions in their ties, Tamil Nadu's Opposition party ADMK has on Monday - September 25 officially announced that it is breaking its alliance with the BJP and walking out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition. The decision has come days after several top ADMK leaders hinted about the exit as they scathingly attacked Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai for his incessant defamatory remarks against the ADMK.
The announcement has come at a high time when the leaderships of both the parties are observing a friction over the seat allocation in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls. For the ADMK, that is now led by its general secretary Edappaadi Palaniswami after years of leadership crisis, the alliance with the BJP was as solid as a rock until some recent events caused a tremor. Despite hailing its alliance with the BJP, ADMK leadership had locked horns with Annamalai.
Annamalai's remarks against ADMK didn't go well for the past few months and he went on to declare that he will give away his post if the BJP allies with ADMK in the general elections. He also indirectly hit at former ADMK's supremo Jayalalithaa that she was a convicted Chief Minister and recently, he had escalated the tensions by speaking against CN Annadurai, a Dravidian stalwart whose name was inherited by the ADMK.
As Annamalai had gone beyond the pale, ADMK leadership was pushed to break its silence in the midst of having a deep-rooted relationship with the central BJP. It also urged the BJP's central leadership to instruct Annamalai not to cross the lines. However, the former IPS officer-turned-politician showed no stopping in his politics of attacking ADMK. Signalling that the alliance will be broken with the BJP, some top ADMK leaders had publicly attacked Annamalai and senior ADMK leader Jayakumar recently went on to declare that there is no alliance with the BJP.
Such remarks from the ADMK leaders became the sentiments of the ADMK cadres and scores of them welcomed the decision to cut ties with BJP. It was duing this tumultuous turn that the ADMK leadership called for a high-level meeting with the MLAs, MPs, and district secretaries and it was earlier reported that the ADMK will take its final call about its alliance with the BJP.
The meeting was held in Chennai on Monday and it was attended by top leaders including Edappadi Palaniswami, who once befriended with the BJP to defeat his rival O Panneerselvam in the party's leadership race. In the meeting, the ADMK had indeed taken its final call as it had officially announced the end of its alliance with the BJP. The crucial announcement has turned heads as it will become a defining factor of the forthcoming political landscape in Tamil Nadu.
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."
The decision was taken days after a delegation of ADMK leaders - Thangamani, SP Velumani, Natham Viswanathan, and C Ve Shanmugam had camped in Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah. However, they didn't get an appointment to meet Amit Shah following which they met BJP national president JP Nadda and discussed about the alliance. While no key decision was taken, it has now come to a point where the alliance can't go further.
ADMK's decision to end its alliance with BJP had sparked celebrations across the state as hundreds of ADMK cadres celebrated the decision by bursting crackers and they slammed Annamalai's controversial leadership. Taking to social media, the ADMK IT wing has been trending the hashtag #ThankYouDon'tComeBack, asking BJP not to come back to the alliance.
Though Edappadi Palaniswami's decision to end BJP's alliance had gained significance and is seen to display ADMK as the second largest party after DMK in Tamil Nadu, 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 breakup 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.