CHENNAI: After days of sparring with the BJP Tamil Nadu unit president K Annamalai over his controversial remarks against, "Periyar" E V Ramasamy, C N Annadurai, and AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, the AIADMK on Monday announced that its alliance is off as on today. “It will be decided closer to elections. May or mayn’t be. That’s the AIADMK’s stand,” said former AIADMK minister D Jayakumar and a key associate of EPS.
The announcement also came close on the heels of Annamalai hitting out at the AIADMK, saying the BJP was not anyone’s slave, and the BJP would capture power in 2026 assembly elections on its own. Charging Annamalai with being a coward, self-centered and violating the alliance dharma by making slanderous comments against the leaders of the ally, Jayakumar said a self-respectful AIADMK cadre would no longer tolerate it. “Annamalai is unfit to be a political leader, and state president of the BJP. A very small-minded person. Let him go alone in the polls. He would get less than NOTA votes. What moral right does he have to speak against Periyar, Annadurai, Amma (Jayalalithaa) and general secretary (EPS),” the AIADMK leader said, warning the BJP leader of serious repercussions in the coming days since the AIADMK cadres turned unrest over his derogatory remarks. Jayakumar said that Annadurai, a renowned scholar and a mass leader, was being worshipped as God by the cadres of AIADMK, the party bearing his name.
The AIADMK district secretaries led by Palaniswami passed a resolution in June, condemning Annamalai for his critical views on late leader J Jayalalithaa in an interview to TOI. The party had announced that it would even reconsider its alliance with the BJP if Annamalai continued his tirade.
On Monday, Jayakumar made strident criticism against the BJP national leadership for not restraining Annamalai despite the AIADMK leadership’s repeated complaints to the BJP high command. Raising serious doubts about the cohesion of party cadres on the ground in the backdrop of bitterness surfacing at the top level, the former minister said, “BJP cadres want AIADMK alliance, but Annamalai does not. What is the need for us to give them (BJP) a piggyback ride? You (Annamalai) don’t have feet. BJP cannot set foot in Tamil Nadu,” the former minister said, taking a jibe at the national party’s vote base in the southern state. “AIADMK is BJP’s identity in Tamil Nadu,” Jayakumar said.
The former minister said that Annamalai was making unnecessary remarks against the leaders by digging up old history for the sake of projecting himself and that he should be in the archaeology department. Does Annamalai trigger purposely? “The loss is not for us. We aren’t the loser, but they are,” Jayakumar said, mocking the BJP as “waste luggage,” and “secure less than NOTA votes,” which would make no impact in the general elections 2024. The senior leader said the AIADMK partymen were not scared even if Annamalai resorted to releasing “AIADMK Files” – an expose of the corrupt deeds of the former ministers, as the AIADMK had seen it all. The AIADMK would not seek a change of BJP state leadership since it was an internal affair of another party, Jayakumar said.