A look at the bizarre case of the BJP, Annamalai, and the ADMK alliance’s bid for power in 2024
In the year 1967, DMK put forth an alternate narrative against Congress to the Tamil Nadu public. Till then the main narrative was “Desiyam” (Nationalistic) but DMK put forth the separatist narrative of “Dravidam” & succeeded also. Since then neither Congress nor BJP (since its inception in TN) ever played the card of Nationalistic politics.
When Shri Annamalai took over as TN BJP president, he took 2 important initiatives, 1st he identified DMK as BJP’s political & ideological opponent, and 2nd started “Nationalism” politics.
The year 2024 is going to be the start of the referendum (I say the start of and not the referendum because it’s not easy to wipe out 70 years of separatism mindset) between the 2 political ideologies.
Where does ADMK stand in this? ADMK is also a Dravidian ideological party, but soft on separatism. Hence ADMK is also in a long run a political opponent of nationalistic ideology.
What is going to be the electoral choice for TN BJP (not ADMK) in 2024? BJP is in the pole position to make the choice this time. Unlike in 2019 and 2021 when ADMK was in a much more powerful situation to negotiate, in 2024, it doesn’t enjoy the luxury. Why? Because:
- Whatever is said and done, it’s not a united force, so the voter base of the united ADMK has split through by a small percentage.
- While EPS is still the leader of the party, there is a long legal battle to settle the issue, unless OPS and EPS come to an understanding along with having a tie-up with AMMK.
- EPS will lose its prominence if the 2 leaves symbol is frozen.
- There are many swords hanging above AMDK leaders both with Central as well as state agencies and they need Central government support to sail thru. Whether the Central government will protect them or not is a different discussion.
- Above all, BJP has started to gain momentum in many parts of TN, EPS will not like to see TN BJP growing on its own.
- If TN BJP decides to snap ties with ADMK & unless ADMK manages to break the DMK alliance, then 2024 will be a cakewalk for DMK, a 3rd consecutive defeat for ADMK under EPS.
What is Shri Annamalai’s choice in 2024 & beyond? To ascertain this, Annamalai & BJP central command has to define “What Success means to TN BJP in 2024”
- If getting 2 to 5 BJP MPs or 15 to 25 NDA MPs means success or;
- Even if BJP doesn’t win an MP but increases its vote share say 15% to 18%.
In the current situation, to return to power, Modi Ji doesn’t need the numbers from TN, in other parts of the country BJP will get conservatively 350 seats. Hence it is a ripe moment for Annamalai to push for party growth than MPs from TN.
EPS may not be interested to give more than 6 seats to BJP, whereas BJP may push for 15 seat minimum. EPS also would not like to see Annamalai and TN BJP growing on their own, because they will become a threat in 2026 itself. So its EPS who is caught in a “Catch 22” situation & not Annamalai.
If Annamalai has to go alone, the decision has to come very soon because he needs to prepare his cadre to take on ADMK along with DMK. This is when the whole narrative will be “Desiyam Vs Dravidam” where ADMK also becomes a political & ideological opponent.
In a way, taking DMK & AMDK together will become a sweet spot for TN BJP, because ADMK has already become baggage to BJP. Annamalai can stitch an alliance with PMK, DMDK, AMMK, OPS, Dr. Krishnaswamy, AC Shanmugam, Paarivendhar, Mutharaiyar party, and some smaller Kongu parties.
If BJP snaps ties with ADMK, Congress, and VCK & communists will have alternate options so they will gain more bargaining power with DMK. EPS will have a better chance of breaking the DMK alliance.
If a three-corner contest leaves NTK & MNM apart, then 20% to 22% vote share will get few seats. In southern TN especially south of Trichy neither DMK nor ADMK has a stronghold, Annamalai’s popularity is gaining large traction in Southern TN.
Will keep following the happenings in TN and share my thoughts, as I think more, my gut feel says TN BJP will soon break its ties with ADMK and prepare the ground for 2024 as early as January 2023. The “Sani Peyarchi” on January 17th probably gives an indication better day ahead for TN.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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- Desiyam Vs Dravidam - April 13, 2023
sir if thats the case let annamalai push hard on the DMK election manifesto of closing tasmac in the state… no party talks abt it ..seems BJP cadre ppl also got few bars of their own
Go Annamalai, get this goons and put them behind bars.
I am no fan of Dravidian politics, but I can distinguish real strategy from wishful thinking