Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda on Saturday reiterated that the party will be in alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu for the upcoming Assembly elections, reported News18. Tamil Nadu is among five states going to polls this year.
The party chief’s announcement came amid perceived tension between the allies. The AIADMK had earlier announced that Chief Minister Palaniswami would remain the contender for the state’s top post, and that the regional party would take precedence in the alliance. The party had not commented on an alliance, though Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in November had confirmed an alliance during Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit.
The chief minister had earlier in January clarified that there was no difference of opinion within the AIADMK to continue its alliance with the BJP. Palaniswami had also reiterated 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.
Tension between the two parties had surfaced after the police in November arrested BJP’s state unit chief L Murugan as he started the “Vetri Val Yatra”, despite the government denying permission to conduct the roadshow amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The religious roadshow, which involves worshipping Tamil deity Murugan, is part of the BJP’s campaign as an attempt to consolidate Hindu votes ahead of the polls.
The yatra has been a bone of contention between BJP and the AIADMK, since a music video promoting it showed the saffron party President Murugan as the future leader of the state.
Another point of contention between the allies arose as the BJP used AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran’s photo alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election campaign video.
Meanwhile, Nadda, who is on three-day visit to the state, performed a puja at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai. The saffron party chief also chaired a meeting of the Tamil Nadu BJP core committee where he discussed the poll preparations with state-level leaders.