The AIADMK meeting of state office bearers and district secretaries to be held at the party headquarters on July 9, Friday evening is slated to be stormy. Several senior leaders, including party steering committee member and former minister C Ve Shanmugam, are going to raise the banner of opposition against the electoral alliance the party had with the PMK and BJP.
Shanmugham, who is also the Villupuram district secretary of the party, had in a public function on Tuesday stated that the AIADMK's alliance with the BJP had led to its drubbing in the polls and that in several constituencies where the minority votes were determinantal, the party candidates lost heavily. A section of the party leaders have already expressed their unhappiness over the expulsion of party spokesman S Pugazhendi over his remarks against the PMK and its leader Anbumani Ramadoss regarding the 10.5% reservation to the Vanniyar community under the Most Backward Castes (MBC) category.
The AIADMK core committee leaders had met online on Thursday and chalked out the plan for the Friday meeting as these two major issues would crop up during the deliberations. Senior leaders of the AIADMK and former ministers D Jayakumar, C Ve Shanmugham, and KC Veeramani who had contested from Royapuram, Villupuram and Jolarpet respectively lost their seat in the 2021 polls. Over one-third of the ministers in the AIADMK government of K Palaniswami could not win the polls. This, according to party insiders, was the result of the alliance with the BJP as these constituencies had a strong minority Muslim presence and they had voted in full against the AIADM-BJP alliance.
A senior AIADMK leader, who did not want to be named, while speaking to IANS said, "We now have to face the local body elections and already we have lost two elections -- 2019 general elections and 2021 Assembly elections. The vote share difference is less than 3% and this shows that if we had not gone into political alignments in a state like Tamil Nadu we could have easily romped home. The leadership did not have had the vision on that and we will lash out against this in the meeting on Friday."
The AIADMK state leadership also believed that the PMK alliance would reap huge dividends in 13 northern districts of the state and had banked on certain surveys that it had commissioned to a private agency. The agency had given figures that the PMK alliance was crucial and if the government announced a 10.5% reservation for the Vanniyar community among the MBCs, it would win northern Tamil Nadu easily.
While the party alliance could not gain a windfall in northern Tamil Nadu, it lost other areas also as the other MBCs joined together and voted against the AIADMK-PMK-BJP alliance.
However, the AIADMK leadership has no choice now than to continue with the alliance with the BJP and PMK. While the BJP is more than happy to stick with the AIADMK as it had won four Assembly seats from a blank in 2016, the PMK can very well shift its allegiance, according to some AIADMK leaders.
Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had stated that the outbursts against the BJP alliance were from individuals and not from the party. The leadership also sent a strong message by expelling a senior leader like S Pugazhendi for criticising PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss.