AIADMK hunts for new ally, likely to part ways with BJP
The AIADMK, according to sources, knows that the alliance with both NTK and VCK will help it gain tremendous ground in the state as these parties have pockets of strongholds across the state.
CHENNAI: The opposition AIADMK, which is a mainstay in the NDA alliance of Tamil Nadu, have commenced talks with other political parties in the run up to the 2024 general elections.
According to sources, AIADMK has begun meetings with NTK, VCK and DMDK. This is following AIADMK's sour relationship with the BJP.
While the NTK of Seeman is a political party centred around Tamil nationalism and Tamil identity, the VCK is a Dalit political party, which is presently in the DMK front and the DMDK is a political party headed by actor-politician Vijayakanth.
The VCK, which is presently a part of the DMK, is against the Stalin-led DMK having commenced discussions with the PMK for a political alliance. It may be noted that the Dalit community of Tamil Nadu is totally antagonistic to the Vanniyar community, which is predominantly the backbone of the PMK. Hence, the VCK is looking for an opportunity to jump ship, if the PMK is roped into the DMK front.
The AIADMK, according to sources, knows that the alliance with both NTK and VCK will help it gain tremendous ground in the state as these parties have pockets of strongholds across the state. The DMDK also has its own relevance in the political equations of Tamil Nadu and the AIADMK leadership has opened a channel of dialogue with the parties as an alternate option.
The step is taken by the AIADMK as there is a fear of the alliance with the BJP falling apart given the statements of the BJP state president, K. Annamalai.
Annamalai has been taking a public posture of fighting the polls alone. He alleges that his ambition is to bring the BJP to power in the state of Tamil Nadu. While certain BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu have opposed Annamalai, the AIADMK leadership is of the feeling that unless the national leadership of the saffron party does not make a statement against the utterances of Annamalai, it has to scout for other partners.
Dr. G. Padmanabhan , Director, Socio Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai, while speaking to IANS said, "The AIADMK is at a point of advantage if it walks out of the BJP alliance in Tamil Nadu. The Muslim vote bank will return, at least partly, to the AIADMK. Coupled with the support of the VCK and NTK, which have grassroots support, it will be able to win a few seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, which will be difficult in an NDA alliance."
He also said that in Tamil Nadu, the only option for the BJP is to piggy ride either the DMK or the AIADMK to get a few seats. Dr Padmanabhan added, "The statements of the BJP state president has brought a major negative feel against the saffron party among the AIADMK cadres and this will lead to a disadvantage for the BJP in the southern state."
It may be recalled that 13 leaders of the BJP have left the party and joined the AIADMK. This includes C.T.R. Nirmal Kumar, the IT cell head of the party. The BJP state president, K.Annamalai had come out strongly against the Dravidian major accommodating those who have left the BJP and also lashed out against the presence of former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) when the membership of AIADMK was given to the former BJP leaders.
Annamalai, it is to be noted, had resigned from the IPS and joined the BJP and of late there have been complaints against him on his arrogance against the party office-bearers. All the senior leaders, who have left the BJP and joined AIADMK, have blamed the Tamil Nadu BJP president for their exit.