BJP adopts wait-and-watch policy on power tussle within ally AIADMK

Keeping a beady eye on the recent developments in Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK, the BJP is following a wait and watch policy on the ongoing power tussle in the regional party.

Earlier this month, AIADMK general council appointed Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) as party interim general secretary. The AIADMK general council also annulled the dual leadership posts of coordinator and co-coordinator which was held by O. Panneerselvam (OPS) and EPS respectively. The dual leadership policy was adopted after the demise of J. Jayalalithaa. After taking control of AIADMK, EPS expelled OPS from the party.

A senior BJP functionary maintained that the power tussle between EPS and OPS is an internal matter of AIADMK. “We are keeping a close watch on the latest developments in the AIADMK and adopting a wait and watch policy in this regard,” he said.

The BJP is working hard to strengthen its organisational structure and in the last Assembly polls in 2021 won four seats.

Another senior party leader noted that it is for the BJP institution that matters and not individuals. “We are gaining ground to become a political force in Tamil Nadu. We contested the last Assembly election in alliance with AIADMK. The party has decided that it is an institution like the AIADMK that matters to us, not an individual,” he said.

The BJP claims a good relation with both EPS and OPS and recently BJP leaders met both of them to seek support for NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu.

“We seek support from both EPS and OPS for NDA Presidential candidate Murmu. We deal with the party not with an individual. For us institutions that matter and not individuals,” he said.

The BJP feels that the impact of the fight will be only known after 2024 Lok Sabha polls as there is no immediate election in the state.

“Assembly poll was held last year, local bodies polls were also held. There is no election in the state before the Lok Sabha polls. So the exact impact of internal fighting in AIADMK will be known after the Lok Sabha polls,” a party insider said.

Amid the infighting in alliance partners, the BJP is concentrating on its ground work to increase its electoral presence in Tamil Nadu.

Another senior party leader pointed out that a robust party structure has been created at ground across the state and now efforts are on to strengthen party reach out to new people.

Amid the power tussle in the AIADMK, after Palaniswami had expelled his two sons and 16 other supporters from the AIADMK, OPS expelled 22 leaders from the party, including Palaniswami.

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