The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Monday ended its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tamil Nadu, following critical remarks by the state BJP chief, K Annamalai, about late Dravidian leader C N Annadurai. A decision about the alliance is likely to be made during the elections, according to a senior party leader.
Recently, Annamalai claimed that Annadurai insulted Hinduism at an event in Madurai in 1956. Following this, Annadurai had to go into hiding in Madurai and could only travel after issuing an apology. Although Annamalai had also criticised the late chief minister, J Jayalalithaa, this is the first time the party has expressed such strong opposition. Interestingly, the AIADMK was founded by M G Ramachandran (MGR) in 1972, and the name "Anna" was added to the party in tribute to Annadurai.
"As far as the alliance is concerned, it no longer exists. The BJP is not with the AIADMK. Any decision can only be made during elections. Annamalai is unfit to be the state president of the BJP. He disparages late leaders solely to elevate himself," said AIADMK leader D Jayakumar. Annamalai's comments about Annadurai came in the midst of the 'Sanatana Dharma' controversy, which the BJP has highlighted as a nationwide issue.
"Annamalai has no desire for an alliance with the AIADMK, although BJP workers would like one. Should we tolerate this criticism of our leaders? Why should we support you? The BJP cannot establish a foothold here. Your voting base is well-known, and you are known because of us," Jayakumar added. According to political experts, through Annamalai, the BJP was attempting to usurp the AIADMK's position after the internal strife between AIADMK's Ottakarathevar Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami escalated. The announcement comes just days after Palaniswami met the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, in New Delhi.