AIADMK’s poor show in some seats due to uncourteous remarks made about BJP, claims Annamalai

On BJP losing deposit in some segments, he said it was natural and that it has happened to other parties as well.


Published Jun 06, 2024 | 10:15 AMUpdatedJun 06, 2024 | 10:15 AM

Annamalai in Delhi

Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai on Wednesday, 5 June, took a dig at former ally AIADMK, claiming its coming third and behind the saffron party in some constituencies in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls was a result of it “not speaking courteously about the BJP.”

The BJP, despite drawing a blank, has increased its vote share and has set its sight on the 2026 Assembly polls in the state, he said.

“We have got historic votes in Coimbatore and this is an achievement. The AIADMK just managed to retain its deposit…you know Coimbatore is an AIADMK bastion and it has got MLAs from there,” he told a press conference in Chennai.

To a question on votes secured by BJP and AIADMK, he said: “If you add up the votes of NDA and AIADMK-led front, it will go above the votes of DMK and allies in approximately 30 LS constituencies, but that cannot constitute an argument.”

‘NDA-AIADMK could win 30 seats’

Going beyond the line that if the BJP and AIADMK had together fought polls it could have resulted in wins in 30 or 31 seats, the truth is “for some reason both the parties did not join hands.”

Annamalai reiterated that he did not speak ill of any AIADMK leaders and asked if those from that party had shown respect for the BJP and its workers.

“That the AIADMK has been relegated to the third position in several constituencies (including Chennai south and Coimbatore) shows the people’s verdict for not speaking courteously about the BJP,” he said.

In 2026, following Assembly polls, Tamil Nadu will be witnessing a coalition era since politics in the state has become three-party-centric from the bipolar politics of DMK and AIADMK.

“Is it fair to talk as if the DMK has won at the national level when it has lost (over) 6 percent vote share in five years,” he asked.

The DMK, in 2019 Lok Sabha polls had a 33.52 percent vote share and it has dipped to 26 percent in 2024 LS polls. At the national level, the BJP, however, lost only about 1.5 percent votes—36.5 percent when compared to 2019 when it had 38 percent share of votes.

“This six percent vote has come to the BJP and this is the message we take from 2024 LS polls.”

Annamalai lauded actor-politician Seeman-led Naam Tamizhar Katchi for facing polls honestly without offering money for votes.

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‘Next target 2026 Assembly polls’

To a question on a reported comment of DMK leader Kanimozhi that she was expressing her views only after winning polls, he said, unlike Kanimozhi, he is the son of an ordinary farmer who does farming and herds cattle.

“Hence, it will take time for me to win, I can achieve victory only by climbing one step after the other.”

Had his father been someone like late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, he also would have won polls. “My father is Kuppusamy, a farmer. He has taught me to be honest and to go ahead gradually and that I will succeed one day. Kanimozhi Akka (elder sister) has said that I should resign from my post. In case, Kanimozhi is set to join the BJP, I will consider that.” To another question, he said his party’s next target is 2026 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

Though there may not be an immediate result for honest work, it will eventually bear fruit.

It was a fact the BJP has grown in Tamil Nadu and people’s verdict also shows that his party has to work more in the state. “We accept the people’s verdict and we will work harder to win people’s confidence.”

BJP’s goal was to get about 20 percent vote share in Tamil Nadu and alongside the votes of NDA allies, this tally should exceed 25 percent.

“We worked hard towards that goal. I want to tell you with a sense of pride that in Coimbatore, the entire 4.50 lakh votes that I got from people was without giving any money to them. Similarly, all our candidates worked hard…we have understood that our task is even more difficult. We have to work much harder to pave the way for nationalist politics in Tamil Nadu by overcoming the money (cash for votes) politics in the state.”

Today, the people have given the BJP a vote share of about 11.50 percent (11.24 percent according to election commission data) and the party has grown in the state, be it rural or urban regions, he said.

In the 2026 Assembly polls, BJP will take forward honest politics and “we have learnt the lesson of having to work harder and we will double our efforts…we have a long way to go and people have told us through the verdict that we are journeying on the right path.”

Increase in vote share

An increase in vote share for the party is a victory in one way, while bringing in a three-cornered fight is also a win for the party in Tamil Nadu and lowering the vote share of a big party (hinting at DMK) is also a victory.

“Our goal is capturing power in 2026. You may ask how the vote share can be increased to about 35 per cent in order to secure power from the present 11.50 per cent. But that is how a party and its president has to aspire and work accordingly. If you feel that we are overconfident, that is your personal point of view.”

On BJP losing deposit in some segments, he said it was natural and that it has happened to other parties as well.

The party will not be deterred by such aspects. To another question, he said he is working as per the guidance of the party brass to take forward the BJP in Tamil Nadu.

Related: Lok Sabha polls results for South: Who won with highest and lowest victory margins

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