AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday said the party severing ties with the BJP and walking out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was a “reflection” the sentiments of its cadre, in a clear indication that the party was in no mood to reconsider the decision.
Palaniswami, who spoke on the issue for the first time, also indicated that the AIADMK will go to the 2024 Lok Sabha without projecting a Prime Ministerial face, following in the footsteps of regional parties like the Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
“We have announced our stand on alliance questions. We will form a mega alliance under the leadership of the AIADMK. Headquarters’ office bearers, district secretaries, MPs, and MLAs aired the views of the 2 crore AIADMK cadres at our party meeting last week. An unanimous decision was taken to sever ties with the BJP and walk out of the NDA,” Palaniswami said.
The “unanimous decision” was taken to “respect and reflect” the sentiments of the AIADMK cadres, Palaniswami said at a party event in Salem, his home town.
“Despite the decision, many ask why Palaniswami hasn’t spoken on this. This was not my individual decision, but that of the party. I want to end all the speculation by asserting that the decision to quit the alliance was unanimous. We are a strong party,” the former chief minister added.
Palaniswami’s remarks came as BJP state president K Annamalai met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who assessed the political situation in Tamil Nadu after the AIADMK’s decision and is believed to have submitted a report to party national chief J P Nadda.
By asserting that he was firm in his decision, Palaniswami has sent out a clear message to the BJP that the AIADMK wasn’t willing to engage the saffron party, albeit for now. It is said that the BJP national leadership is hoping that a way would be found to convince the AIADMK and bring the party back to the NDA.