BJP faces setback in Tamil Nadu as AIADMK walks out of NDA, party workers burst into joy

Edappadi K Palaniswami

Chennai: In a major political development, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Monday (September 25) announced its decision to end its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and exit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The AIADMK, which is the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu, passed a unanimous resolution in this regard at a high-level meeting chaired by party coordinator and former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the party headquarters in Chennai.

The AIADMK accused the Tamil Nadu BJP leadership of deliberately defaming the AIADMK and its late leaders M G Ramachandran (MGR) and J Jayalalithaa, who are revered as Aringar Anna and Amma by the party cadres and supporters. The AIADMK also said that the BJP was trying to interfere in the internal affairs of the party and create divisions among its ranks. The AIADMK said that it had joined hands with the BJP in 2019 for the Lok Sabha elections and 2021 for the Assembly elections, hoping for a cordial relationship and mutual respect, but the BJP had betrayed its trust and expectations.

The AIADMK also declared that it would form a new alliance with like-minded parties and lead a separate front for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The AIADMK said that it would continue to follow the principles and policies of MGR and Jayalalithaa, who had always upheld the interests of Tamil Nadu and its people. The AIADMK said that it would oppose any attempts by the BJP or any other party to impose Hindi or Sanskrit on Tamil Nadu or to undermine the rights of the State.

The announcement of breaking ties with the BJP and NDA was greeted with jubilation by the AIADMK workers, who burst firecrackers and distributed sweets outside the party headquarters in Chennai. They also raised slogans hailing Palaniswami and deputy coordinator O Panneerselvam as the true heirs of MGR and Jayalalithaa. They also expressed confidence that the AIADMK would emerge victorious in the next elections under their leadership.

The AIADMK’s decision to part ways with the BJP has come as a big blow to the saffron party, which has been trying to expand its base in Tamil Nadu, where it has a negligible presence. The BJP had hoped to ride on the popularity of Modi and use the AIADMK as a vehicle to gain some foothold in the State. However, the alliance did not yield any positive results for either party, as they faced a crushing defeat at the hands of the DMK-led alliance in both 2019 and 2021 elections. The BJP had managed to win only one Lok Sabha seat and four Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu with the help of the AIADMK.

Edappadi K Palaniswami

The BJP has not yet reacted officially to the AIADMK’s decision, but some of its leaders have expressed their disappointment and resentment over it. They have accused the AIADMK of being ungrateful and opportunistic and said that the BJP had always supported and respected the AIADMK. They have also claimed that the AIADMK’s move was influenced by some external forces, such as DMK president M K Stalin or Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who are opposed to Modi and his policies. They have also warned that the AIADMK would regret its decision and lose its relevance in Tamil Nadu politics.