As end of his tenure nears, BJP Tamil Nadu chief Annamalai to take a sabbatical from politics citing a fellowship

Reports say that the three-month fellowship was already in the cards for Annamalai even before the election results were announced.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 03, 2024 | 7:15 PM Updated Jul 03, 2024 | 7:36 PM

Annamalai to take a sabbatical from politics for a three-month Oxford fellowship

Even as K Annamalai’s tenure as BJP’s Tamil Nadu state president will be ending on 17 July, he is set to take a three-month break from his political career since he has been selected for the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship for Leadership and Excellence programme offered by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

This comes in the backdrop of the party failing to secure even a single seat in Tamil Nadu in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections while DMK and its allies won all of the state’s 39 seats and the lone Puducherry seat.

According to reports, the three-month fellowship was already in the cards even before the election results were announced and Annamalai was waiting for permission from the party’s high command to accept the fellowship.

The fellowship is three months long, beginning in September and concluding in December.

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Questions being raised

The BJP state chief’s decision has raised several questions, particularly because the former IPS officer’s tenure as the BJP’s state chief for Tamil Nadu is coming to an end in a couple of weeks.

Will he be replaced as the president due to the recent poll debacle? Or will a temporary president be appointed until he is back? A decision in this regard from the party high command is expected anytime.

Exit polls had predicted that BJP might win two to three seats in Tamil Nadu. Even though the party did not win any seats, its vote share increased from 3.66 percent in 2019, when it contested five seats, to 10.72 percent in 2024 when it contested 24.

This is the highest for the party since it started contesting elections in Tamil Nadu. Additionally, the saffron party also pushed AIADMK to third place in nine seats.

BJP had contested in 24 seats while its allies – PMK, Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar), and AMMK contested in the remaining seats. The alliance’s overall vote share for this election stands at 18.2 percent.

(Edited by Neena)

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