In first election after split with NDA, AIADMK loses all seats

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, when it was in alliance with the NDA, the AIADMK had managed to secure only a single seat by a narrow margin of 6.2% votes.
Edappadi Palaniswami
Edappadi Palaniswami
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In its first Lok Sabha election after cutting ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) lost from all the 32 seats it contested in Tamil Nadu. The state has a total of 39 Lok Sabha constituencies. 

This time, the party had roped in for an alliance the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founded by the late actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), and the Puthiya Thamizhagam (PT). All the three parties which contested from seven seats in total also failed to record any victories. Further, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi had also announced its support for the AIADMK.

Notably, in DMDK’s first election after Vijayakanth’s demise, his son Vijay Prabhakaran V put up a close fight against the Indian National Congress’s (INC) Manickam Tagore B and lost out by around 10,000 votes. 

AIADMK’s key contenders from Dharmapuri, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Chennai South and Vellore constituencies, finished third behind the DMK, Congress or the BJP. 

Meanwhile, in Karur, AIADMK’s Thangavel A came second after Congress’s Jothimani. In Tenkasi Puthiya Tamizhagam’s K Krishnasamy finished second after DMK’s Rani Sri Kumar, and in Thoothukudi, AIADMK candidate R Sivasamy Velumani finished second after DMK’s Kanimozhi karunanidhi.

Exit from NDA

It was in September 2023 that AIADMK chief Edappadi K Palanisamy announced the party’s exit from the NDA after several arguments broke out between the party’s cadres and the Tamil Nadu BJP President, K Annamalai. The final stroke was a controversial remark made by Annamalai at a protest rally in Chennai. 

At the rally, the BJP leader had alleged that Dravidian icon CN Annadurai — who founded the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which later split to form AIADMK — made a critical remark against the Hindu faith at an event in Madurai in the 1950s. Annamalai further claimed that noted freedom fighter Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar questioned Annadurai for speaking ill of goddess Umaiyaval, and that the former CM “went into hiding” in Madurai because Muthuramalinga Thevar was angry. 

Several AIADMK leaders came to the fore in response, stating that there was no evidence to backup Annamalai’s claims. 

Previously in 2023, Annamalai had also insinuated that the tenure under former CM and AIADMK stalwart Jayalalithaa was one of the most corrupt in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK subsequently adopted a resolution against Annamalai, calling him “politically immature and inexperienced.”

After the fall-out between the AIADMK and the BJP, the ruling party that has the union government, lead the alliance with nine parties in Tamil Nadu including the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) (10 seats), Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) (3 seats), O Panneerselvam who contested individually (1 seat), Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) (2 seats), Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi, Puthiya Needhi Katchi and Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam.

2019 performance

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had won 38 out of the 39 seats, emerging as the single largest party in the state. The AIADMK was in an alliance with the NDA at the time, and won only one seat by a narrow margin of 6.2% votes. The victory was in Theni, where Raveendranath Kumar, the son of the former deputy CM O Panneerselvam, won against the Indian National Congress (INC)’s EVKS Elangovan. 

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