Political heat in TN BJP: How Annamalai is spurring dissent from the senior leaders?

The recent induction of new office bearers in the party has spurred dissent from the senior leaders against Annamalai, the President of the Tamil Nadu BJP unit. The strife has been simmering within the party with a disappointment from the seniors that they have been suppressed by the current leadership, which is guaranteeing a post within the party for those who came from the rival camps.

Annamalai has been restructuring the party and is busy appointing the office bearers for various posts. Last week, he had released a new set of office bearers in which BJP leader Sasikala Pushpa, who was with the ADMK, and another BJP leader Karate Thiagarajan, who was with the Congress, were given key posts. As Annamalai's list had turned against the senior leaders and the long-time party workers, they have been dissenting against him.

The dissidents had claimed that they are still with the party because of their leader Narendra Modi. A league of senior leaders and party functionaries had expressed disappointment over the party's restructuring.  A functionary said that the long-time cadres were disappointed but they are here for their leader Modi. Speaking to the Times of India, Annamalai said that the party is not for the happiness of the cadres but for the happiness of the people.

He further claimed that the BJP is the only party where no post is traded and every posting has been made with some kind of value and merit. He asserted that every cadre is happy and working for the party regardless of the post. However, the reality is that some of the leaders didn't take their rejection well and though they claim to work for the party, they have been arming the lobby against Annamalai's leadership. 

Acting against Annamalai's decision, state president for social media and IT cell Nirmal has unilaterally announced the office bearers and district secretaries for his wing. Nirmal had made the appointments without the knowledge of Annamalai and he only informed the latter about the appointments only after signing the official list. Later, with no option left, Annamalai had shared the list of new office bearers in the IT and social media unit who were appointed by Nirmal. 

Likewise, BJP leader Vinoj P Selvam, who has been with the party for over a decade, was expecting a big post in the state unit. However, Annamalai had appointed Selvam as one of the party's secretaries, which according to the latter is a puny role and that he had demanded a post which has more influence than a secretary. In line with Selvam, Gayathri Raghuram is also unhappy after she was relieved from the post of the president of the arts and culture wing of the state unit. 

She was not given any new responsibility and she had expressed her dissent apparently on social media. When the party's leadership found out about the dissident in Gayathri Raghuram, a leader close to Annamalai assured her that she would be given a different role in the party. Our sources say that as dissents escalate against Annamalai, some of the senior leaders are in strong notion to quit the party and join the rivals.