TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK allies with BJP, pledges “unconditional support”

Dhinakaran said that the AMMK will work like a “squirrel” in order to help the BJP gain an electoral victory in Tamil Nadu.
File photo of AMMK general secretary, TTV Dhinakaran
File photo of AMMK general secretary, TTV Dhinakaran
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TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) announced its alliance with the BJP, ahead of the upcoming general elections. Announcing the alliance, Dhinakaran, who is the nephew of Jayalalithaa’s former aide VK Sasikala, has also said that AMMK has promised the BJP “unconditional support.” The details of the seat-sharing agreement between the AMMK and the BJP is yet to be finalized. 

Addressing the media on Monday, March 11, Dhinakaran said, “The alliance with the BJP is confirmed. I spoke on the phone with BJP state president K Annamalai and the former minister Kishan Reddy. I have promised them unconditional support to the BJP alliance.” 

He added, “The BJP will definitely form the government again in India. Everybody knows that Narendra Modi will be the Prime Minister again. The AMMK will work like a squirrel in order to help the BJP gain a victory in Tamil Nadu as well.” Dhinakaran’s comparison of the AMMK to a squirrel is a reference to the Hindu belief that a squirrel offered pebbles to the deity Ram in order to build the so-called ‘Ram Sethu’ bridge—the chain of natural limestone shoals between India and Sri Lanka. 

Regarding the seat-sharing, Dhinakaran said that another announcement would be made later. He clarified that the AMMK candidates would not contest under the BJP’s lotus symbol but instead on their own party symbol. 

Earlier this month, AMMK began its election campaigning in Sivaganga district using its usual pressure cooker symbol. 

When asked about his previous criticism of the BJP, Dhinakaran said, “I only said that if the BJP continues to bring in schemes that go against the people of Tamil Nadu, I can never ally with them. Whether it is the Sterlite plant [in Thoothukudi] or the methane and hydrocarbon projects that Tamil Nadu’s farmers are opposed to, the BJP does not force such schemes anymore. Prime Minister Modi had said several times that he would bring in good schemes in Tamil Nadu, so without any pricking of our conscience, we have decided to ally with the BJP.”

When reporters asked if the AMMK considers the BJP a secular party, Dhinakaran replied: “As a party, the BJP may have some ideologies that you or I do not agree with. But I believe that BJP is the right party for India’s growth.” 

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