Chennai, Mar 26 (BPNS)
The opposition AIADMK which is a flag bearer of Dravidian politics and Tamil identity along with the DMK is now in an alliance with the BJP and part of an NDA alliance. With the poll bugle sounded for the 2024 general elections and DMK marching ahead with people friendly budget and pro- people policies, the AIADMK is in an abysmal situation with the party finding it tough to catch up with a DMK that is powered by the personality of Stalin.
With AIADMK itself facing a political crisis as both senior leaders Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) and O. Panneerselvam (OPS) fighting against each other and OPS now stands expelled from the party, it has another taxing issue to deal with, a BJP which has failed to garner the Dravidian reality of Tamil Nadu.
Even as the BJP had senior and mature leaders like C.P. Radhakrishnan, H. Raja, Pon Radhakrishnan, L. Ganeshan and a dedicated leadership base of the RSS, the party leadership ( read national leadership) found a rookie, Kuppuswamy Annamalai to lead it. The BJP has been on cloud 9 with the victories in 2021 assembly elections and powerful regional parties like AIADMK with its Dravidian identity and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) with its Vanniyar caste identity being its allies in NDA. However after Annamalai came to helm, he deliberately cultivated an image of an aggressive and hungry leader with an ambition to catapult the BJP to power in the state which had turned its back to national political parties since the second half of the sixties when, the DMK’s all powerful and popular leader, C.N. Annadurai capturing power to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The last Chief Minister from a national party in Tamil Nadu was Minjur Bhaktavalsalam of the Indian National Congress who served the state as Chief Minister from October 2,1963 to February 28, 1967.
Annamalai underestimated the Dravidian political reality of Tamil Nadu and tried to catapult BJP to power single handedly without taking into account that BJP had no proper ground support across the state. The caste and social realities of Tamil Nadu has also been not taken into account and tried to enter into a confrontation with the AIADMK.
After senior party leaders like Gayatri Raghuram and CTR Nirmal Kumar resigned from the party openly blaming Annamalai and his arrogance being the reasons for their exit, the writing was clear on the wall. When Nirmal Kumar who was a dedicated and hard core party man resigned as the Chief of the IT wing of the BJP in Tamil Nadu, and joined the AIADMK, Annamalai turned furious. He vent his ire at the AIADMK and its powerful interim general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) who was present when CTR Nirmal Kumar joined the AIADMK.
K. Annamalai, the IPS officer turned politician openly said that the former BJP leaders who left the party and joining the AIADMK was a sign of the growth of the BJP in the state and even rebuked the presence of EPS when CTR Nirmal Kumar was given the AIADMK membership.
Immediately after Nirmal Kumar left the party, it was the turn of several other state and district leaders of the saffron party jumped ship and blamed Annamalai for their exit from the party. All the other senior leaders of the party kept a studied silence on the blame game between Annamalai and the second rung leaders of the AIADMK including D. Jayakumar ,former minister and party spokesman.
Even as senior leaders of the party were quitting and joining other political parties, the BJP state president continued his ire against the AIADMK and the leadership of the Dravidian party. While Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), the powerful political outfit of the Vanniyar community snapped the ties with the BJP even during the last local body elections, the AIADMK was continuing its relationship but now things have become worse and a situation has reached wherein it seems that there is no going back.
It has been a long demand of the AIADMK cadres that the Dravidian party snaps its ties with the BJP and explore other political possibilities. If the AIADMK cut its relationship with the BJP, the party could get more votes as the minority Muslim community will support the AIADMK.
Sources in the AIADMK told BPNS that it has already commenced talks with the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) the Dalit political outfit which is part of the Secular Progressive Alliance of the DMK, the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) the fierce Tamil nationalist party headed by actor turned politician Seeman and the Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) of actor, politician Vijayakanth. These three political outfits are not big forces, but can make a major difference in many constituencies.
Dr.R.G. Chandraswamy, political analyst and former head of political science of a government college in Coimbatore while speaking to BPNS said, “The BJP think tanks have erred profusely. The alliance with the AIADMK was a must for the BJP and not the other way around. The AIADMK has now got an excuse to snap ties with the BJP and explore other possibilities. If the AIADMK stitch an alliance with VCK, NTK and DMDK, and some Muslim outfits, things will become rosier and the AIADMK can at least win a minimum of five to seven seats in the 2024 general elections.”
He added that the AIADMK would draw a blank if the ties with the BJP continue in Tamil Nadu and that this was an opportune moment for the Dravidian major to cut its ties with the BJP and scout for fresh partners.