After the Lok Sabha poll debacle in Tamil Nadu, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be distancing itself from its ally AIADMK for quite some time. And this was evident during the election in the state’s Vellore segment where the BJP refrained from campaigning for AIADMK’s AC Shanmugam, who contested against the opposition DMK’s Kathir Anand.
Even though the state BJP leaders have not officially spoken out against its ally party or Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the state unit of the saffron party has been exposing scams and shortcomings of the state government through its official Twitter handle.
The state BJP unit has been retweeting its posts about scams pertaining to road construction and illegal sand mining tagging the Chief Minister’s official handle. It has also been vocal about the death of a 23-year-old techie, Subhasri, who was killed after an illegal banner erected by a former AIADMK councillor crashed on her.
பேனர் விழுந்து இளம்பெண் உயிரிழந்தது பெரும் வேதனை தரக்கூடிய செயல்
பொதுமக்களுக்கு இடையூறாக பேனர் வைப்பது அப்பட்டமான விதிமுறை மீறல்
குற்றம் புரிந்தவர்கள் மீது @cmotamilnadu உடனடியாக நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும்
திராவிட கட்சிகளின் பேனர் கலாச்சாரம் முற்றிலும் ஒழிக்கப்பட வேண்டும் https://t.co/RE9sx0hi3g
— BJP Tamilnadu (@BJP4TamilNadu) September 13, 2019
According to sources, the saffron party’s high command has allegedly given green signal to the state IT wing to expose and slowly start pointing out the shortcomings of the state government to be in the limelight and keep up the morale of it workers.
However, the BJP IT wing workers have been specifically asked to refrain from taking a dig at individual leaders, which they do in case of the opposition DMK.
Speaking on the issue, BJP IT wing president R Nirmal Kumar said they were not actually criticising the government but were highlighting the small scams in state. “It was not intentional to criticise the government. We are not criticising the Chief Minister. We are just bringing it to their knowledge,” he said.
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He also claimed that the saffron party has been doing the same in all states where it is in alliance with the ruling dispensation. “Even in Bihar the state BJP unit has been taking up the small issues,” he said.
Kumar also cited the social media boom and the Twitter culture while justifying this approach of the BJP. “Even earlier, national leaders used to raise such issues. But now, after the boom in the Twitter culture, we have been doing the same thing on the microblogging website,” he said.
Asked whether it would affect its alliance with the ruling AIADMK, he replied in negative. “It is rather a positive approach and the government will rectify the issues once the problems are brought to their knowledge,” said Kumar.
Meanwhile, another BJP leader blamed the “lethargic attitude” of officials and said that the saffron party is only highlighting what the court had said. “Because of the lethargic attitude of the officials, they are failing to implement the court orders, and we are bringing these to the government’s knowledge,” said BJP state secretary KT Raghavan.
However, AIADMK spokesperson RM Babu Murugavel claimed ignorance to the issue and said that the tweets may not convey the official stand of the BJP. “Earlier too, BJP secretary H Raja had tweeted such things and later claimed it was his secretary who tweeted. So, we cannot come to a conclusion that it was the BJP’s stand,” Babu Murugavel said.
This comes in the backdrop of the BJP’s hesitation to extend support to the AIADMK candidates in the Nanguneri and Vikravandi Assembly by-polls.
On Friday, AIADMK minister D Jayakumar visited the BJP’s office in Chennai to meet former union minister Pon Radhakrishnan and sought the party’s support in the bypolls. Following hours of discussion, the BJP leader told reporters that the saffron party would extend unconditional support to the AIADMK candidates.
He further denied that the BJP was hesitating in extending support to the AIADMK and said, “It took us time since we do not have a state chief to seek the opinion of the national leadership.”