Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday said that there was no difference of opinion within the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam over continuing the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Assembly elections scheduled to take place this year, The Hindu reported.
Palaniswami told the newspaper in an interview that there will be no change in the alliance between the two parties, though minor differences could arise due to policies.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister added: “There are no differences of opinion within our party on the alliance with the BJP. Only in a manner to reaffirm this, we announced the continuation of the alliance in the function in which the Home Minister [Amit Shah] participated.”
He said that the parties will discuss the seat-sharing agreement when the election is notified. “Numbers being floated in sections of media on the seats to be allotted to allies are unofficial and merely speculative,” Palaniswami told The Hindu. “The party cannot take responsibility for it.”
Palaniswami made it clear that the AIADMK was leading the alliance in Tamil Nadu, when he was asked about the BJP’s reluctance to endorse him as the chief ministerial candidate. “The AIADMK’s chosen candidate will be the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate as well,” he said. “There can be no second opinion on this. Not just that, even on Monday, the BJP’s Tamil Nadu in-charge [CT Ravi] had said that the AIADMK, which is the major party, will decide on its chief ministerial candidate.”
Last week, the AIADMK’s general council had unanimously endorsed Palaniswami as the chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming state elections. The party’s top decision-making body, however, remained silent on the subject of the alliance with BJP.
Palaniswami expressed confidence that his party will win the elections for the third time. “In the last 10 years, various schemes have been implemented for the benefit and progress of the people,” he told The Hindu. “There is hope. Definitely this time too, the AIADMK will win and score a hat-trick.”
In response to the question about whether there was scope for a third politician like Kamal Haasan in Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami said: “As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, the contest is between alliances led by the two Dravidian parties. People of the state do not support a third front.”