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TN: Rift in NDA over CM candidate

CM Palaniswami differentiates between party principles & alliance, says latter is of primary concern for political organisations

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

The ‘Rajini’ factor seems to be heading for total makeover in election bound Tamil Nadu politics. The announcement of Edappady K Palaniswami as the chief ministerial candidate and continuation of NDA alliance by AIADMK well in advance and the lukewarm response to it by BJP in the back drop of Rajinikanth’s decision to enter electoral politics now has triggered some open talks from both sides.

TN CM Palaniswami on Sunday sought to differentiate between party principles and alliance, saying the latter was of primary concern for political organisations. The AIADMK co-coordinator said that his party too had its own principle and that “we will act according to it”.

Palaniswami’s statement comes at a time when BJP state unit president L Murugan on Saturday said that the BJP’s national high-command will announce the CM candidate of the party.

Addressing a Christmas event organised by his party in Chennai Palaniswami said, every party has a principle and it works only in accordance with that. “Alliance is different, policy is different. The principle is permanent and the AIADMK is acting in line with it,” he said.

After the event, Palaniswami held talks along with AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and senior leaders of the party at its headquarters in Royapettah. The leaders discussed strategies for campaigning ahead of TN Assembly elections 2021.

AIADMK has announced that its alliance with the BJP will continue for the 2021 Assembly elections where the ruling party is eyeing a third electoral victory after storming to power in 2011 and retaining it in 2016. Though AIADMK announced the continuation of NDA in the state in front of Union minister Amit Shah in Chennai recently, he never said anything about the alliance and only praised AIADMK government for its achievements during the function. Though BJP state unit president L Murugan on Sunday backtracked and said Palaniswami is CM of the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu, political observers are of the view that Ganesan’s earlier statement did have some political connotations in the back drop of Rajini factor.

However, the statement by the BJP leader has led to a fissure between AIADMK and BJP alliance. The AIADMK leaders also expressed disapproval over the comment.

In response to this, AIADMK minister D Jayakumar said that these claims were unacceptable. “It is true that the alliance continues; there is no difference of opinion regarding that. But, AIADMK has already decided that Edappadi Palaniswami will be the CM candidate and we have announced the same,” he told the media.