The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has said that it can form the next government on its own, after Bharatiya Janata Party Tamil Nadu unit chief L Murugan suggested that the next chief minister will be chosen by the saffron party, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
Tamil Nadu minister and senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar ruled out chances of the BJP assuming a key role in the state government and said that the AIADMK was strong enough to contest the polls alone. “There is space for talks about a coalition government,” he said. “The AIADMK will form the government, as it has done in the past. There is no doubt about that.”
A war of words has erupted between the Tamil Nadu unit of BJP and the AIADMK after the latter refused permission to the saffron party for conducting the “Vetri Val Yatra” procession. Murugan was arrested on November 6 as he started the roadshow.
The religious roadshow is part of the BJP’s campaign ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year. The Yatra, which involves worshipping Tamil deity Murugan, is an attempt to consolidate Hindu votes ahead of the polls. The Yatra has been a bone of contention between BJP and its Tamil Nadu ally AIADMK since a music video promoting it showed the saffron party President Murugan as the future leader of the state, and featured a picture of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran.
Murugan had on November 8 criticised the government for preventing the yatra, saying that the state was making a “wrong decision”, according to The Times of India. About 200 BJP cadres along with leaders were arrested and detained on Sunday again. Murugan had claimed that BJP would emerge as a major force in the state in the 2021 Assembly elections. “It will be the deciding factor in government formation,” he had said. Murugan’s statements on the chief minister being chosen by the BJP was apparently to encourage the party cadre to work during the upcoming election, according to The Hindu.
On Monday, Minister for Information Kadambur C Raju said that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami would be the candidate for the top post in the state. “There is no second thought about it,” he told reporters. “We don’t want to take his [Murugan’s] remarks so seriously and hold a debate on it.” Raju added that people are welcoming Palaniswami’s name as the chief ministerial candidate.
Senior, AIADMK leaders, however, have said the ongoing war of words between the two parties will not lead to breaking the alliance. They said that the AIADMK cannot make any decision regarding snapping ties with the saffron party before taking the BJP central leadership in confidence. “These are necessary statements to silence the local leaders of BJP to counter their over-enthusiasm,” a senior state minister and AIADMK leader told The Indian Express.