BJP’s LS tally slumped because of leaders like Annamalai: Edappadi

“The AIADMK has already given enough reasons for not contesting the by-election.
AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami addressing reporters at the Coimbatore airport on Friday
AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami addressing reporters at the Coimbatore airport on Friday Photo | Express

COIUMBATORE: AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami targeted BJP’s Tamil Nadu chief K Annamalai on Friday for his comments about its former ally for not contesting the Vikravandi bypoll. He also vowed not to take back former party colleagues who were shown the door.

“It’s only because of leaders like Annamalai the BJP, which won over 300 seats and formed government last time, has now been relegated to a position to form a coalition government with the help of alliance parties,” Palaniswami told reporters at the airport.

“The AIADMK has already given enough reasons for not contesting the by-election. However, Annamalai has been deliberately criticising the party for it. Annamalai had said the AIADMK would have secured only third or fourth place if it contested this by-election but our party candidate had secured the second spot with a margin of less than 6,000 votes in the Villupuram Lok Sabha constituency in the recent election. Everyone knows how the DMK alliance fared in the Erode by-election (in 2023). They locked people in pens like sheep and cattle and faced the election by giving money,” Palaniswami said.

Palaniswami also made light of the BJP’s growth in Tamil Nadu. “Annamalai is trying very hard to create a mirage that the BJP is growing in TN after he joined the party. That is not true. In the recent Lok Sabha election, Annamalai contested in Coimbatore and got 1 lakh votes less than the DMK. The BJP got 18.8% in the previous election, and the BJP alliance got 18.28% in this election. Their vote percentage is only decreasing,” Palaniswami said.

“What schemes has he brought to Tamil Nadu so far? He got votes by lying about fulfilling 100 promises in 500 days. He did not get votes by telling the truth. All that he says is nothing but complete lies. Now there is BJP rule at the Centre, people expect him to fulfil his promises,” he added.

Palaniswami went on to slam Annamalai saying that it is because of such a leader that the BJP, which won more than 300 seats in the 2019 general election, had to cobble up a coalition government with the help of alliance parties after the recent national poll.

Palaniswami also ruled out taking back leaders ousted from his party. “When VK Sasikala is not even a member of the AIADMK, how could she unite the party. Similar to VN Janaki’s statement when the AIADMK split, Sasikala should also take a similar decision that she will act in agreement with the party leadership,” he added, referring to party founder MGR’s wife.

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