After BJP, AIADMK’s Shanmugham targets alliance partner PMK

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AIADMK Villupuram district secretary and former minister C.Ve. Shanmugam is at it again. After targeting the BJP for the electoral drubbing, the former minister has now said that the alliance lost the Dalit votes due to the presence of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).

The AIADMK leader in an audio address to party cadres of Marakkanam village in his home district Villupuram, said that the party lost the Dalit votes and thereby several seats due to the presence of PMK in the Front. The audio message of the former minister is now viral on social media.

He said that there are existing ideological differences between the Dalit communities and the Vanniyar community, which is the social base of the PMK.

Shanmugham in the message said, “We lost several seats in the 2021 assembly elections as Dalits did not vote for us. The alliance with the PMK was the main reason for defeat as there are several ideological issues between the two communities.”

He said that in the Athoor assembly constituency, AIADMK lost by 1.5 lakh votes and added that this constituency is the stronghold of the Dalit community. C.Ve. Shanmugham also said that the AIADMK leadership and cadres must ponder on this issue as to why the assembly constituencies which were traditional strongholds of the party and where the Dalit communities have numerical strength, moved away and how the opponents won.

The former minister also cited that there were traditional fights between the dalits and the Vanniyars and several people had been injured and some had lost lives. The AIADMK senior leader said that there was no proper social engagement between the two communities and this has reflected badly in the assembly elections.

Shanmugam had earlier attacked the BJP and in a speech at Villupuram on July 6, the former minister had said that the alliance with the saffron party had driven the minorities away from the AIADMK. Shanmugam had himself lost in the assembly elections.

The comments of Shanmugham had drawn flak from the BJP leadership and the senior leaders of the AIADMK including former chief ministers, Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam stating that the BJP-AIADMK alliance was intact and that it would continue.

After the comments of the AIADMK senior leaders, the former minister made a hasty retreat and on Thursday he said in a meeting at Gingee that it was his personal opinion.

The AIADMK meeting held at its state headquarters on Friday and attended by party district secretaries and state office bearers had turned stormy over the comments from several corners on the electoral alliance. However the party senior leaders stood their ground and said that in elections, losses and wins are common and just because of losing an election, an electoral alliance cannot be nullified.

–IANS

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