AIADMK corners TN BJP chief for TN poll debacle

In the wake of the DMK-led alliance’s sweeping victory in all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, a bitter exchange has erupted between former allies AIADMK and BJP. The AIADMK has pointed fingers at BJP state president K. Annamalai, blaming him for their dismal performance and the subsequent breakup of their alliance.

The controversy ignited when Annamalai suggested that the AIADMK’s third-place finish in several constituencies, where BJP or its allies secured the second position, was a triumph for his party. This assertion did not sit well with AIADMK leaders, who responded with sharp criticism.

Former AIADMK minister R.B. Udhayakumar was vocal in his criticism of Annamalai. “If Annamalai had controlled his mouth, there would have been a better result,” Udhayakumar stated, underscoring his belief that Annamalai’s comments and actions were detrimental to the alliance’s prospects. He further emphasized, “Only one leader is responsible for this massive defeat of everyone. For his inexperience, all parties in Tamil Nadu faced this tragic result,” he said.

AIADMK leader SP Velumani echoed these sentiments, attributing the breakup of their alliance directly to Annamalai’s actions. Velumani pointed out that under previous BJP leadership, the alliance had seen success. However, Annamalai’s persistent criticism of AIADMK stalwarts, including former leaders Jayalalithaa (Amma) and CN Annadurai (Anna), strained relations and ultimately led to the alliance’s dissolution. “If the alliance had continued, we would have secured 35 seats,” Velumani claimed.

AIADMK chief Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) also weighed in on the matter, dismissing the idea that an alliance with the BJP would have altered the election outcome. He highlighted that despite BJP’s claims of increasing influence in Tamil Nadu, their vote share had actually decreased from 18.8% in 2014 to 18.28% in 2024. EPS criticized Annamalai, stating, “The BJP failed to cross the majority mark