The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Sunday launched its campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu by sending a clear message that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will be the party’s candidate for the top post, and rejected any possibility of a power-sharing agreement with its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, reported the Hindustan Times.

“Whether national or regional parties come in, the government will be headed by the AIADMK,” said the party’s Deputy Coordinator and MP KP Munusamy in an oblique reference to the BJP. “There is no scope for a coalition government and there is no need for it. If any party comes to us with that intention, I urge you to rethink.”

Munuswamy said that his party would not let “several persons doing calculations” gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu, in the absence of leaders of the stature of MG Ramachandran, J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, reported The Hindu. “Since 1967...Dravidian rule has ensured that no national party can enter Tamil Nadu,” the AIADMK leader added.

Off late, certain elements have been making attempts to discredit the Dravidian rule in the state, he said.“Some blacklegs, some national parties, some opportunists, a community and a group which have been determined to finish off the Dravidian movement and its leaders from the days of Periyar [Dravida Kazhagam founder EV Ramasamy] are carrying on a campaign that Tamil Nadu has been destroyed during the 50-year-long rule of the Dravidian movement,” Munuswamy added.

On the possibility of sharing power, the ruling party’s senior functionary emphasised that a AIADMK-led government would be formed if they win the 2021 Assembly elections. “If any national party wants to dictate otherwise, they’re welcome to not to be a part of the amalgam,” Munuswamy said, according to NDTV.

Munuswamy made the remarks in the presence of Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other senior leaders. His statement was seen as a clear message that BJP cannot succeed independently in Tamil Nadu, and was dependent on the AIADMK.

Last month, the AIADMK had declared in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Chennai that it would continue its alliance with the BJP, and contest the elections together. “Our alliance will win maximum seats and AIADMK will retain power,” O Panneerselvam had said.