A united National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and a united All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are much needed to defeat the "Theeya Sakthi" of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), BJP Tamil Nadu chief K Annamalai said on Friday.
BJP state president made the remark while addressing a press conference in Chennai. BJP national general secretary CT Ravi was also present.
Earlier in the day they met with the AIADMK leaders O Panneerselvam (OPS) and Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS).
"A united AIADMK and BJP are much needed to defeat the DMK alliance in this bye-election. We have met both OPS and EPS and the meeting was good as we conveyed something to them on behalf of the party's national President JP Nadda," BJP national general secretary CT Ravi said while addressing a joint press conference with Annamalai at the Kamalayam in Chennai.
"We have asked them [OPS and EPS] to work unitedly to defeat DMK for the Tamilians. We also tried to convince them to stay united," he said further.
For the first time, the BJP had openly admitted for making attempts to unite the AIADMK, as earlier they have termed the latter's conflict their "internal matter".
After the demise of Tamil Nadu's former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in 2016, the AIADMK has been following a dual-leadership formula with EPS as co-coordinator and OPS as coordinator. The clamour for leadership has been growing louder for a single leader in the party since the district secretary meeting on June 14, 2022.
As of July 11, 2022, the general council meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Edappadi K Palaniswami has been elected as the interim general secretary of the party.
With the ECI not yet ratifying the AIADMK's July 11 general council meeting which abolished the dual leadership formula and appointed Edappadi K Palaniswami as interim general secretary, records with the poll agency still show expelled leader O Panneerselvam as the coordinator and EPS as joint coordinator.
However, the case related to the appointment of Edappadi K Panalaniswami as interim general secretary at the party's general body meeting is before the Supreme Court and the order is reserved.
Addressing the press conference, CT Ravi said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin is turning "unpopular" day by day and there is a huge "anti-incumbency against the DMK" (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam).
"M K Stalin is becoming unpopular day by day. There is a huge anti-incumbency against DMK. They are working for one family and are against the Tamilians. They increased property tax, milk price and everything," he said.
CT Ravi further alleged the DMK senior leaders and Members of Parliament (MPs) for "continuously attacking" Tamil culture and said that the "party is known for using money [as power] and misusing the Government and hence they want a united AIADMK.
"We all know how by-election happens especially when DMK is known for its usage of money power and misuse of the Government machinery. We are already seeing that in Erode district. That's why a united NDA and a united ADMK is much needed to defeat this Theeya Sakthi in this by-election," he said.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai in a joint press conference with BJP national General Secretary CT Ravi mentioned that there is still time to make a decision on the candidature for Erode (east) bypoll as the last day to file nomination is February 7.
It is pertinent to mention that Annamalai and CT Ravi had met with OPS and EPS at their respective residences earlier in the day and were expected to declare the party's (BJP) stand on the upcoming Erode (east) bypolls in Tamil Nadu. (ANI)