Karnataka polls 2023: AIADMK fields own candidate against alliance partner BJP’s candidate

AIADMK's move comes at a time the party's leadership has made no secret of its dislike for Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 19, 2023 | 3:30 PM Updated Apr 19, 2023 | 3:30 PM

Edappadi Palaniswami, K Annamalai. (Twitter)

They may be alliance partners in Tamil Nadu, but in the 10 May Assembly elections in Karnataka, the AIADMK will take on the BJP.

In a move that again raises questions about whether all is well in the AIADMK-BJP alliance, the former has fielded a candidate in the Pulakeshinagar constituency in Bengaluru where the BJP has already announced its candidate.

“In accordance with the decision of the Governing Body Committee of AIADMK, D Anbarasan, the Presidium Chairman of AIADMK, Karnataka state unit, will contest in the Karnataka Assembly General elections from Pulakeshinagar Assembly constituency,” read a press release from AIADMK on Wednesday, 19 April.

The BJP has already announced Murari as its candidate from the Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved constituency for the Assembly election.

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Result of scuffle with Annamalai?

The AIADMK’s move comes at a time the party, currently, led by Edappadi Palaniswami following a Supreme Court order, is still in a tug-of-war over claims by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

The decision of the AIADMK to field a candidate in the Karnataka polls also comes at a time its leaders, including Palaniswami, have made no secret of their dislike towards BJP state president K Annamalai, who incidentally is co-in-charge of the elections in Karnataka.

As recently as 16 April, Palaniswami had refused to take questions on Annamalai, insisting that journalists should only ask him questions about “mature politicians”, insinuating that he didn’t consider the BJP state unit president to be one.

Ever since his elevation as general secretary of AIADMK, Palaniswami has become more assertive in dealing with alliance partner BJP in Tamil Nadu.

‘Alliance with BJP’s central leadership’

His supporters and leaders of the party backing him have reiterated multiple times that their alliance is with the central leadership of the BJP, indicating that they had no truck with K Annamalai directly.

AIADMK’s decision to field a candidate in a constituency where the BJP, its alliance partner, has already announced its candidate, also comes at a time when Palaniswami is preparing the party for a legal battle to stake claim to AIADMK’s Two Leaves symbol, in case O Panneerselvam approaches the Election Commission of India.