AIADMK divided on tie-up with BJP

While the factions led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam seem to be in favour of aligning with the BJP, senior leaders like Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai are against such an alliance. (DH File Photo)

Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK is split over the possible alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections due in May this year as many old-timers feel such a tie-up would do more harm for the party.

Though officially, the AIADMK says no talks on alliance has so far been initiated, sources told DH that several rounds of informal discussions have taken place between senior leaders of the AIADMK and the BJP in New Delhi.

The BJP, whose numerous attempts to make inroads in Tamil Nadu failed, is pushing AIADMK for an alliance with senior party leaders openly saying that both parties are ideologically closer and that there was need for an electoral understanding to defeat the Opposition.

BJP leaders feel, sources said, an alliance with AIADMK would ensure that it gets the chunk of the regional party’s vote share if not the entire percentage. AIADMK under Jayalalithaa had polled more than 40% of votes in 2016 Assembly elections. But the share might witness a deep plunge with the split in the AIADMK.

While the factions led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam seem to be in favour of aligning with the BJP, senior leaders like Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai are against such an alliance.

Thambidurai has been quite vocal against tie-up with BJP – he went to the extent of saying that the AIADMK will not carry the “BJP on its shoulders” and help it develop base in Tamil Nadu. And, as expected, the BJP leaders in the state are now baying for Thambidurai’s blood alleging that his comments were not against BJP, but against Palaniswami, who also hails from the Kongu belt.

 

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AIADMK divided on tie-up with BJP

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