Only a few days back, AIADMK leader Edapaddi K Palaniswamy visited Delhi to sew up the alliance talks for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. He met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national President JP Nadda and held parlays to get finer details ironed out. The AIADMK is still part of the NDA.
Under the leadership of Annamalai, the BJP feels it has grown up and can give a tough fight to DMK in the wake of the rising anti-establishment wave. Unconfirmed sources say the BJP has asked for 15 to 20 seats out of 39 in Tamil Nadu. But AIADMK has second thought on the number and has not made any assurance to consider or straight no. BJP cited the response the en maan en makkal yatra of Annamalai received and unmanageable crowds thronged to see him, and interact with him. No such charismatic leader in the AIADMK after the demise of its founder MGR and Jayalalithaa. Moreover, it needs BJP support to escape from DVAC raids on its leaders by the DMK regime.
Annamalai made a comment that has not gone well with the AIADMK. Annamalai recalled an event saying Annadurai, popularly known as Anna, had made a critical remark against the Hindu faith at an event in Madurai in the 1950s, and was slammed by freedom fighter Pasumpon Muthu Ramalinga Thevar.
Lashing out at Annamalai over his remark, the AIADMK leaders said he deliberately “insulted” Anna and questioned him about his knowledge of the Dravidian stalwart’s life. AIADMK leader D Jayakumar made it clear on Monday that there is currently no alliance between his party, led by K. Palaniswami, and the BJP in Tamil Nadu. He said that the decision regarding any alliance would only be finalised during the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.
The former minister criticized Annamalai for his negative comments about the prominent Dravidian leader C N Annadurai. Jayakumar asserted that his party members would not tolerate any disrespect directed at the late chief minister. Jayakumar stated that Annamalai did not appear interested in forming an alliance with AIADMK, despite some BJP members desiring it. He questioned why they should endure criticism of their leaders and emphasized that the BJP’s presence in the state was known and attributed to the AIADMK.
In a strong reaction, Annamalai told media persons in Coimbatore on Sunday “BJP is not subservient to anyone. Alliance is important but if you expect us to be slaves, we cannot be so. This is party of self respect. No party is strong enough to shun political alliances. All are mutually dependent. There is no big party or small party in politics. We are accommodative. But that does not mean we will compromise on principles. Referring to former AIADMK ministers Jayakumar, C Ve Shanmugam and Sellur Raju who had criticised him, Annamalai said he found there was a clear pattern. The trio would talk one after another when he makes any critical comments on AIADMK or its chief.
He said “ I will not instigate my second rung leaders to speak. I would speak for myself. Denying their charges, Annamalai said “ I have not denigrated any one. I was only quoting from history. I did not speak ill of Anna and had only mentioned an event wherein Muthu Ramalinga Thevar had defended Sanatana Dharma. History is history. Look at history as history. I am very clear. Nowhere will I belittle anyone? I did not insult or underestimate anyone, anywhere; history should be spoken as it was and if it is not liked (by some people), it’s okay. I will not be mute spectator when someone questions my honesty and police job. I am capable of doing dirty politics but controlling myself. I can talk more. I can even speak about what C Ve Shanmugam did when he was a minister”.
Annamalai said “There is no need for the BJP to come to power by bending to another party. It is an individual party with individual ideologies. Its workers are working hard and the party does not see anyone as a demi-god in Tamil Nadu politics. Sana tana dharma is our life breath. I came to politics to protect Tamil culture and the Sanatana dharma. Alliance is only 2024 Lok Sabha elections. BJP will come to power in Tamil Nadu by relying on its own strength in 2026 and not as a “B team” of any other party.