The AIADMK has been forced to distance itself from comments made by senior leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, as he continued to take a hard line against the BJP ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
His latest statement, where he made it clear that the AIADMK will not help the BJP gain foothold in Tamil Nadu, has further left the ruling party in the Centre fuming and calling him a member of the DMK's 'sleeper cell'.
On Monday, Thuglaq editor Gurumurthy at an event in connection to his magazine stated that for the BJP to grow in Tamil Nadu, they must ally with the AIADMK. He further said that schemes introduced by the Centre were not getting their due credit in the state and that the BJP must work to ensure their work in seen in the right light.
Reacting to this, Thambidurai on Thursday said, â€œItâ€™s not our duty to nurture BJP in Tamil Nadu. We will not carry any other party on our backs and help them gain a foothold in the state."
Speaking to TNM, party spokesperson Satyan Rajan, stated that Thambidurai's statement cannot be seen as the stand of the entire party and that an alliance can only be decided by the high command. Having said that, however, the AIADMK was quick to criticise Gurumurthy's comments.
"We have to take Thambidurai's statement as one made in a personal capacity and not as the view of the party," says Satyan Rajan. "But Gurumurthy is a known BJP man. He has said that for the BJP to grow bigger in Tamil Nadu, it has to be with the help of the AIADMK. This clearly means that BJP is a parasite. It grows bigger inside you and then finally leaves you. This is the kind of language that is being used. When this was asked to Thambidurai, he said that we cannot carry another party," he said, in Thambiduraiâ€™s defence.
Following Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami's statement that alliances will be chosen based on what is good for the people of Tamil Nadu, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan had said that the state has benefited from the Centre's policies.
"But it is not like the BJP government has introduced anything new or specific for Tamil Nadu. Central government schemes are for all states and it is just that Tamil Nadu has made good use of existing schemes. By the Centre's classification, we are already a developed state," said the AIADMK spokesperson.
'Indication of multiple factions within AIADMK'
The BJP, meanwhile, is convinced that Thambidurai's constant criticism of the party is an indication of multiple factions within the AIADMK. In fact, BJP's Tamil Nadu spokesperson SR Sekar even went as far as describing the deputy speaker as a part of the 'sleeper cell' of the DMK.
"Thambidurai has lately been exceeding his limits and this is because he is an isolated personality in AIADMK. He clearly expected a better position and power after J Jayalalithaa's demise. And when he was not given that, he is singing a different tune from the rest of the party. It is clear that there are factions within that party," alleged SR Sekar. "He need not carry the BJP anywhere, we already have a strong presence in Tamil Nadu as of now and the alliance will be decided by the high command of his party, not him," he added.
The BJP is, in fact, currently conducting meetings with district heads and parliamentary functionaries to discuss possible alliances.
"The BJP has made it clear that we will face these polls with alliance partners and the AIADMK is definitely under consideration," says the party spokesperson. "We will soon come out with positive news."