TN tussle: BJP’s top leadership to reach out to AIADMK

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Chennai: With BJP’s Tamil Nadu President K. Annamalai slamming the AIADMK for inducting former leaders of his party and the AIADMK leadership hitting back, the relationship between the two alliance partners is at a low ebb.

The BJP’s national leadership, however, wants a truce as it knows clearly that without the backing of the AIADMK, the party will be a big zero in Tamil Nadu, despite the super victories of Pon Radhakrishnan and C.P. Radhakrishnan in the Lok Sabha elections without any alliance.

The latest issue between the AIADMK and BJP cropped up after state BJP IT cell President C.T.R. Nirmal Kumar quit the party and joined the AIADMK in the presence of its interim General Secretary K. Palaniswami. The very next day, state BJP IT cell Secretary Dilip Kannan also quit and after a day joined the AIADMK again in presence of Palaniswami. Both the leaders lashed out against Annamalai, saying that his “dictatorial line of functioning would not help the BJP in Tamil Nadu”.

Annamalai did not take this lying down and in a Twitter post subtly threatened the AIADMK that he would also poach from its ranks. This led to a stern response from AIADMK leader, D. Jayakumar.

The BJP national leadership does not want such a flare up in the relationship between the two parties as it knows clearly that the BJP can get gains only if it piggy rides the AIADMK.

Sources in the BJP told IANS that the BJP national President J.P. Nadda and senior office-bearers including General Secretary and Tamil Nadu in charge C.T. Ravi will be communicating with Palaniswami directly. The party leaders have conducted private surveys and found that without the support of the AIADMK, the BJP cannot even win a single seat in the state.

While Annamalai has lashed out against the AIADMK leadership, the national leadership of the party does not support this as it knows for sure that without the backing of a powerful Dravidan entity, the BJP will not be a force to reckon with in Tamil Nadu.

The DMK-Congress alliance is looking to gain maximum seats from the state and Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has already told cadres that all the 40 seats in offing in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry must be won in 2024.

The BJP was expecting to better the chances of its alliance from the present one seat of Theni won by expelled AIADMK leader O.P. Panneerselvam’s son O.P. Ravindranathan. However the recent rift between the AIADMK and BJP has not gone down well with the national leadership which was desperately trying to gain maximum seats from south India.

Except from Karnataka, the party does not have much expectations and hence the national leadership does not want the situation in Tamil Nadu to be fanned up further.

Sources in the BJP told IANS that the national leadership have already communicated to Annamalai to keep calm and have also spoken to Palaniswami. If needed, Nadda will soon reach Chennai and have a meeting with the AIADMK leadership to iron out the differences.

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( With inputs from )

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