In a surprising turn of events, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which had been the second-largest party in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), declared on Monday that it was no longer part of the alliance in Tamil Nadu. This decision came amid escalating tensions between AIADMK and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the senior partner in the NDA.
D. Jayakumar, a senior leader of AIADMK, informed journalists in Chennai that the party would make a decision regarding its alliance closer to the next Lok Sabha elections. This move follows a recent political meeting between AIADMK’s general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, and Home Minister Amit Shah of the BJP in Delhi.
The rift between AIADMK and the BJP had been growing due to critical remarks made by K. Annamalai, the BJP’s state president in Tamil Nadu, about C. N. Annadurai, the iconic former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the namesake of the AIADMK. AIADMK was founded by M. G. Ramachandran (MGR), who was a staunch follower of Annadurai.
D. Jayakumar, considered the official spokesperson of AIADMK leadership, stated, “So far as the alliance is concerned, the BJP is not in the AIADMK alliance. That will be decided only during the elections. This is our stand.” He also warned that any further criticism from Annamalai against AIADMK leaders would be met with a strong retaliation, accusing Annamalai of prioritizing self-promotion over the interests of his own party.
Jayakumar emphasized that his statements reflected the party’s position, not his personal opinions, and his announcement was met with enthusiastic support from AIADMK cadres.
The friction between the two parties escalated when Annamalai publicly criticized former AIADMK Minister C. Ve Shanmugam, insinuating that Shanmugam had engaged in corruption during his time in power. Annamalai also expressed confidence that the BJP would come to power in Tamil Nadu in the 2026 elections without aligning with any other party as a subordinate.
In response, Shanmugam cautioned the BJP leadership about the consequences of Annamalai’s critical remarks regarding Annadurai, suggesting that such comments could harm their electoral prospects. Shanmugam added that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were akin to a “friendly match” for AIADMK, with the real battle set for 2026.
Another former AIADMK Minister, Sellur Raju, condemned Annamalai for speaking ill of Annadurai, warning that those who did so would face severe consequences.
This recent split between AIADMK and BJP marks a continuation of previous strains in their relationship due to Annamalai’s actions and comments about leaders, including the late Jayalalithaa. At that time, the BJP’s central leadership had intervened to restore peace, but it seems that the tensions have now escalated to the point of an official break in their alliance. The future political landscape in Tamil Nadu remains uncertain as both parties reevaluate their strategies in the lead-up to the next elections.