After the PMK, which represents the powerful Vanniyar community, snapped ties with the AIADMK during the October 2021 rural local body polls, a large section of the Tamil Nadu BJP leaders is also putting pressure on the party national leadership to go it alone.
BJP leader in Tamil Nadu legislative Assembly Nainar Nagenthran recently came out strongly against the AIADMK state leadership indicating that the BJP wanted to go it alone in the polls. However, the state president of the BJP, K. Annamalai was trying hard to mend fences and to downplay the statement of Nagenthran.
A large section of the BJP leadership in Tamil Nadu is of the opinion that AIADMK lower-level cadres and the BJP cadres are not gelling together and that even in the 2021 Assembly elections, the AIADMK did not transfer votes to the BJP candidates.
Some senior leaders of the BJP are of the opinion that while the DMK is a tight coalition with a grassroots presence, the AIADMK has reduced itself into a party that comes together during the elections only. It may be noted that the AIADMK has been drawing criticism from several corners over the party not being able to carry out many agitations against the DMK government on issues, including the poor quality of materials supplied in Pongal gift hampers. The AIADMK leadership has, however, pooh-poohed the charges stating that Covid-19 and its restrictions have hampered the party’s efforts to organise the grassroots agitations against the DMK government.
BJP leaders, who vouch for snapping ties with the AIADMK are of the opinion that if the party breaks its ties during the Urban local body elections, it could get some leverage in the grassroots and could develop its cadre base.
The BJP is also miffed at the fact that several issues that the party brought forward, including conversion at schools and slums by the Christian groups and the attack on BJP and RSS workers by the Islamist groups, the AIADMK had maintained a studied silence.
A senior leader of the AIADMK from Theni while speaking to IANS said, “The BJP as a political party does not have any grassroots support in Tamil Nadu and it will be like this even for the next 50 years. It’s a Brahmanical party that is not accepted in South India at least not in Tamil Nadu and the BJP got a semblance of respect only with the alliance it has had with us at the grassroots. Let them contest the Urban local body elections on their own and we can see the results.”