Saturday, April 13, 2024

AIADMK taking a Muslim plunge to pack a punch in general elections


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Shillong, March 21: The main Opposition party of Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK has reworked its poll strategy and is trying to woo the minority Muslim community to its fold.

The party, which had snapped ties with the BJP in September 2023, is fighting the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls by constituting a new alliance.

The AIADMK’s new alliance comprises the Desiya Dravida Murpokku Kazhagam (DMDK), the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) which is the political arm of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and the Puthiya Tamilagam (PT).

The AIADMK entering into an alliance with the proscribed PFI’s political arm SDPI was unexpected, even though it was trying to constitute a predominantly Muslim formation.

This was to shed its image of being pro-BJP and also to woo Muslim voters.

The DMK leadership has also been trying to create confusion among the voters by saying that the AIADMK would go for a post-poll alliance with the BJP if the situation demands.

So, the AIADMK’s alliance with the SDPI is a bid to shed the BJP baggage and a response to the DMK’s propaganda.

Zacharias Joseph, Director, Centre for Studies on Emerging Societies and political analyst, told IANS, “The AIADMK is trying to woo the Muslim community hence the party has entered into an alliance with the SDPI. However, the DMK has the much more sober Muslim political party, the Indian Union Muslim League by its side. The AIADMK has gone from Hindutva to Islamist in the blink of an eye and this does not augur well for the party.”

In Tamil Nadu, the Muslims constitute 5.86 per cent of the population and it is spread across all districts. The community has a presence of 15 per cent in Ramanathapuram District while it has only 1.09 per cent presence in Ariyalur District.

The SDPI got the sympathy of the Muslims after the NIA raids and arrests of several senior PFI leaders. The AIADMK is trying to cash in on this sympathy factor in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The AIADMK has a solid vote bank in Tamil Nadu and the party had secured 33 per cent of the total votes polled in the 2021 Assembly elections, which is just 4 per cent less than that of the DMK front that ultimately won the elections.

The party faced the 2021 Assembly elections after ten years in power since 2011 and even without its towering leader J Jayalalithaa it won 66 Assembly seats and 33 per cent vote share. This clearly shows that the AIADMK still has a good grass root presence in the state. (IANS)


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