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Is the AIADMK-BJP alliance over?

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The Amit Shah visit to Tamil Nadu has signalled that the AIADMK-BJP is almost over. BJP state president K Annamalai has targeted corruption by all Dravidian parties including the AIADMK. Amit Shah conspicuously did not meet Edappadi Palaniswami nor O Panneerselvam, the leaders of the two AIADMK factions. OPS, known to be more amenable to the BJP, hit out at Annamalai asking if donkeys can appreciate fragrance from camphor while responding to Annamalai’s contention that former chief minister J Jayalalithaa was convicted of corruption.

Speaking to inmathi, veteran journalist R Rangaraj gave his take on the fallout of Amit Shah’s visit. He says that the crux of the fissures in the AIADMK BJP alliance is the various factions in the AIADMK and the number of seats that the BJP could potentially get in the alliance. Raising the stakes, Shah talked about the Lotus blooming in 25 seats. Shah also refused to meet Edappadi and OPS in Chennai. He has been doing this for sometime now, expressing the BJP’s position that all the factions should unite and put up a united fight against the DMK so they stood a better chance. But Edappadi is firmly against uniting with OPS or even Sasikala and TTV either. He has flatly refused to heed to that request. So the problems in the alliance continue.

Rangaraj said Annamalai was right in raising the corruption issue. It’s not edifying that the chief minister of the state was herself convicted in a corruption case, and attacking Annamalai virulently is not correct. In any case, Annamalai did not personally take on Jayalalithaa. He only talked about the conviction as an example of how pervasive political corruption is in Tamil Nadu. It may well be better if he openly announces that the AIADMK, BJP alliance is over.

Crux of the fissures in the AIADMK BJP alliance is the various factions in the AIADMK and the number of seats that the BJP could potentially get in the alliance

Rangaraj recalled that the AIADMK, BJP alliance has always been a tenuous one. He recalled how Jayalalithaa pulled out of the Vajpayee government when the then prime minister did not agree to legislation that would nullify the corruption cases against her.

Rangaraj was dismissive of the Tamil prime minister talk. He said senior ministers such as Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar who were Tamils will have to get elected from Tamil Nadu for that to be a possibility. In any case, the BJP has announced that it is Modi who will be the prime ministerial candidate. This only shows the contradictions in the BJP’s campaign. It’s only an election stunt.

Also Read: Can BJP beat DMK by playing the Tamil chord?

The truth is that the BJP lost three important state elections: Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Bihar. It is in power in barely ten states. The party has been facing a slide in fortunes. It thinks that it has to gain a foothold in the south. The BJP is very keen on Tamil Nadu.

Rangaraj didn’t think there would be early elections. He recalled how the party lost in 2004 after calling for elections early. The election commission may not be agreeable either to this. The party will only lose ground if it called for early elections.

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