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Annamalai-Murugan: 2 horses of same chariot

The young Turks in the party admire Annamalai stating that at the age of 37, Annamalai did many things that his predecessors could not do to develop the BJP in Tamil Nadu.

Annamalai-Murugan: 2 horses of same chariot

K Annamalai, L Murugan

CHENNAI: At a time, when 39-year-old K Annamalai has started to emerge as the face of the Tamil Nadu BJP unit, former State president and Union Minister of State L Murugan’s political re-entry back into state politics has raised the question of whether the national party in Dravidian heartland is heading towards a collective leadership.

L Murugan, who was the State BJP president from 2019 to 2021, was elevated as the Union Minister of State in 2021 July and then the vice-president of the party K Annamalai was appointed as succesor to Murugan.

The young Turks in the party admire Annamalai stating that at the age of 37, Annamalai did many things that his predecessors could not do to develop the BJP in Tamil Nadu. “Annamalai caught the bull by its horns and took up the issues against the DMK first family who took umbrage under Dravidian politics. Worship of individual political leaders a deeply rooted subject in the State was questioned by the rising Annamalai. He was a dare, challenging the politics promoted by Dravidian stalwarts ranging from Arignar Anna to former CM J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu,” added Kamalalayam insiders.

Meanwhile, L Murugan, an ardent RSS prodigy and a grounded politician is now back to reclaim his territory. With AIADMK walking out of the BJP alliance all eyes are now on Murugan to ensure that all former NDA partners are back into the alliance before 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Murugan, a preferred choice for the party old timers has now resumed his political activities in the State. To be precise Murugan’s political reach has shifted from Delhi to Tamil Nadu.

“MoS L Murugan is taking up State politics seriously and is keen on increasing his campaign decibels on state issues like NEET, atrocities against Dalits, corruption and mismanagement allegations related to HR&CE maintained temples,” said a jubilant supporter of Murugan reiterating that “Annan Murugan is back to the State politics.”

BJP insiders and party spokespersons confirmed to DT Next about the increasing day-to-day meetings of Murugan with cadre and key BJP functionaries. The frequency of press meets, and press releases from Murugan has increased. “Such developments hint that minister Murugan is rising above the political horizon of the IPS turned politician Annamalai,” a BJP functionary said wishing not to be named.

“Our national leadership appointed Annamalai hoping to boost the party and keep the alliance intact. Annamalai has succeeded in sidelining a few seniors, promoting himself, and lashing out at his critics through his war room,” informed senior quipped.

“National leadership advised Annamalai to focus only on the ongoing ‘En Mann En Makkal’ yatra and not to interfere in other matters including the alliance and there is a popular belief that Annamalai failed to handle the AIADMK carefully. With the blessings of national leadership Murugan has taken up State politics. He is now strengthening and rewiring BJP in the State,” the senior leader confirmed.

However, Rangaraj Pandey Ragunathacharya, a senior journalist said, “Murugan has returned to the limelight with with only a few months left for the parliamentary elections.”

Meanwhile, there does not seem to be any truth in the claims of contradictions, friction, and cold war between Annamalai and Murugan. There is a difference between Murugan and Annamalai in administering the State BJP unit and their style differs and not a conflict,” Pandey opined. There is a possibility for Annamalai to continue in the state president post till the 2026 TN Assembly.

Echoing this view and dismissing the ‘Cold War’ charges, BJP state vice-president Karu Nagarajan said, “There is no problem between Annamalai and Murugan. Annamalai pays his full attention to the ongoing ‘En Mann En Makkal ‘yatra. As a MoS, Murugan is launching new projects and schemes in the State,” added Nagarajan.

Ramakrishna N
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