AIADMK splits with BJP in Tamil Nadu, silence from BJP high command
The AIADMK has accused state BJP chief Annamalai of making critical remarks against late AIADMK leaders such as J Jayalalithaa and CN Annadurai
The Bhartiya Janata Party's mission to expand its base in Tamil Nadu seemed to hit a roadblock on Monday as, following days of strained ties, the BJP’s long-time ally All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) unilaterally broke the alliance.
AIADMK leader D Jayakumar announced in Chennai that the BJP is no longer in an alliance with the AIADMK. Addressing media, Jayakumar said Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai was “a little fox howling at the AIADMK, a gang of lions”.
"We can't tolerate anymore [the criticism of leaders]. As far as alliance is concerned, it is not there. BJP is not with AIADMK.... [the matter] can be decided only during election. This is our stand," he added.
The BJP high command, however, is yet to comment on the development.
The AIADMK claimed Annamalai had made critical remarks about AIADMK leaders including late party supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa, and Dravidian stalwart CN Annadurai.
Lashing out at Annamalai for his criticism of Annadurai, Jayakumar said "Annamalai doesn't desire an alliance with AIADMK, though BJP workers want it. Should we tolerate all this criticism of our leaders? Why should we carry you? BJP can't set foot here. Your vote bank is known. You are known because of us."
Asked if this was his personal opinion, Jayakumar said, "Have I ever spoken to you in that capacity? I only say what the party decides."
In the backdrop of the recent controversy over Sanatan Dharma, the Tamil Nadu BJP chief recalled an incident that he claimed had happened in the 1950s, when Annadurai had allegedly criticised the Hindu faith but was opposed by freedom fighter P Muthuramalingam Thevar. Following the incident, Anna went into hiding and later apologised for his remarks, Annamalai said.
Another AIADMK leader, C Ve Shanmugam, said AIADMK is the BJP’s biggest partner in the NDA, and while PM Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda are aware of this, Annamalai did not appear to be in the know.
“We strongly condemn Annamalai. Despite being part of the NDA alliance, he had earlier criticised Amma (Jayalalithaa) and now he is talking about Perarignar Anna, what’s your (Annamalai) motive?” Shanmugam asked.