The opposition AIADMK seems to be insecure over the growth of its ally BJP in the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu. The drift started after the BJP announced that it would contest the urban local body polls on its own and that the AIADMK wanted to know the grassroots strength it had in the state.
This did not go down well with the AIADMK leadership even though the Dravidian party maintained a studied silence. However, of late the aggressive postures taken by the new state president of the BJP and former IPS officer, K. Annamalai seems to have created a feeling of insecurity in the AIADMK state leadership.
While senior leaders like O. Panneerselvam and K. Palaniswami did not utter a word against the BJP, second rung party leaders started commenting against the saffron party.
Former Minister and party leader C. Ponnayian in a two-day workshop of the AIADMK think tank, ‘Puratchi Thalavi Peravai’ for its office-bearers, said that the growth of the BJP does not augur well for the AIADMK, Tamil Nadu, and Dravidian politics.
The AIADMK leader came down heavily on the BJP and said that the national party was in doublespeak on issues that are close to Tamil Nadu including the Cauvery river water sharing as well as Mullaperiyar issue. Ponnayian while addressing party leaders said that in the Cauvery issue, BJP Karnataka unit was against the interests of Tamil Nadu in sharing of waters while the Tamil Nadu unit of the saffron party was silent and a mute spectator.
He also advised the BJP to change according to the interests of Tamil Nadu and then only can the saffron party grow in the state. C. Ponnayian called upon the IT wing of the AIADMK to expose the attitude of the BJP through social media platforms.
The speech of C. Ponnayan is termed by political observers as the first salvo fired by the AIADMK in public against the BJP and is a warning bell to the saffron party in Tamil Nadu.
Dr R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai told IANS, “The AIADMK knows that the BJP is trying to make a dent in Tamil Nadu and that the party fears that it was doing this at the expense of the AIADMK. The arrival of an aggressive leader like K. Annamalai has led to the AIADMK becoming insecure as the BJP has been charting out schemes and programmes addressing the issues of the masses.”
It has to be seen how the AIADMK and the BJP will be faring in the days to come and whether there will be a realignment of political forces in the state.