During the interview to News18, Annamalai also expressed confidence the BJP will win the mandate in upcoming Karnataka elections, where he is the party co-incharge. (Twitter/@annamalai_k)
In an exclusive interview to News18, Tamil Nadu BJP and Karnataka incharge K Annamalai denied any rift with AIADMK leader Edappadi Palaniswami, but said the BJP has to move beyond being a “five-seat party” in the state
My wings have not been clipped and I will continue to aggressively push for the growth of the BJP in Tamil Nadu, the party’s state unit chief K Annamalai told News18 in an exclusive interview, adding that the alliance with the AIADMK will continue till the 2026 Assembly elections.
Asked if he has been told to toe the party line amid alleged differences with the AIADMK, the Tamil Nadu BJP chief said: “The party’s senior leadership is very clear that Tamil Nadu BJP has to grow. This means the BJP has to do some things that resonate at the ground level. The BJP cannot remain a junior party for a very long time. That’s what I have been emphasising on for a long time. You can’t contest four or five seats and say you are a senior party… The goal is to make sure the NDA remains intact.”
He added that he has the backing of the party’s top leadership to “push for BJP’s growth”.
Maintaining that all is well between him and AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi Palaniswami, Annamalai said: “We are friends. It’s not that we have problems with each other. Edappadi Palaniswami is very clear about his party because it was in a very turbulent phase. He’s very clear where his party has to go… I never provoked anyone or spoke badly about anyone. I am very clear on the BJP’s game-plan. I am not here to criticise other parties. If somebody feels so, I am not responsible.”
Asked about his recent allegations of corruption against the ruling DMK, Annamalai said the “revelations”, dubbed #DMKFiles, will continue. “The DMK is rattled. We have been able to pierce the DMK’s chakravyuh. There’s much more left to the #DMKFiles… The DMK can’t push Hindi vs Tamil narrative anymore.”
Annamalai had earlier this month alleged that “kickbacks of Rs 200 crore” had been channelled by a multinational company through two shell firms to “Chief Minister MK Stalin for DMK’s 2011 election fund”. He said he would lodge a complaint with the CBI, seeking a probe. The ruling DMK dismissed the allegation as “laughable, baseless and unfounded” and said legal action would be initiated against Annamalai.
During the interview to News18, Annamalai also expressed confidence the BJP will win the mandate in the upcoming Karnataka elections, where he is the party co-incharge.
“The people of Karnataka have to decide whether they want ‘khichdi sarkar’ or ‘double engine sarkar’. The Congress peaked early and is now losing steam… Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for vikas has turned the momentum towards the BJP. The previously caste-driven voter in Karnataka is now embracing the vikas pitch,” Annamalai said.
Asked about the reception he as a Tamizhan has been receiving while campaigning in Karnataka, Annamalai said: “I am a Tamizhan, but have also served the people of Karnataka selflessly as a police officer. I know the language. People have accepted me and respected my efforts. Karnataka is a very proud state but the acceptance for outsiders is high. There are fringe elements in the state, but the majority of Kannadigas are nationalistic and spiritual. That is the beauty of Karnataka.”
Read all the Latest Politics News here