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Saffron shade to AIADMK front miffs minorities
The AIADMK, considered to be a party known for its secular credentials, is now facing the wrath of various Muslim outfits and political parties representing religious minorities for aligning with the BJP.
The AIADMK has also failed to attract the Muslim outfits - including its long-term partners like Manithaneya Jananayaka Katchi (MJK), Tamil Maanila Muslim League (TMML) and Indian National League (INL) in the Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly bypolls. Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Indian National League, Tamil Nadu Thouheed Jamath and M Thamimun Ansari’s Manithneya Jananayaga Katchi (MJK), are the major parties representing the Muslims in the state. Bishop Inigo Irudhayaraj’s Christhuva Nallenna Peravai, Bishop Ezra Sargunam’s the Evangelical Church of India representing the Christians are supporting the DMK.
Earlier, the AIADMK enjoyed the support of MJK and INL and now the rebel AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran has wooed the SDPI. SDPI will contest Central Chennai in alliance with the AMMK. However, none of the influential minority parties had extended support to the AIADMK and the BJP alliance till now. “This is a life and death problem for minorities and the AIADMK had betrayed the minorities by joining hands with the BJP.
Our Prime Minister candidate is Rahul Gandhi and we will campaign for the DMK alliance candidates in all the 40 seats covering TN and Pudhucherry” said MJK general secretary M Thamimun Ansari, an MLA, elected from Nagapattinam constituency in AIADMK ticket in 2016 Assembly poll. “TN has a predominant population of Muslim and Christians ranging from 75,000 to 3 lakh votes.
With the minority vote share accounting to around 15 per cent of the state’s vote bank. We will consolidate our vote against Modi,” Ansari said. “When AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa was alive, she did not make an alliance with the BJP. She was above religion and stood for a social cause, but both CM Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam have failed to think about us,” he rued.
We are forming poll offices in all the 40 seats and will reach out to the pro-Tamil outfits and secular outfits seeking their support for Rahul Gandhi, Ansari said. Ansari also noted that many AIADMK leaders are unhappy with the party high command over the alliance decision.
When contacted, senior AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan, said that the AIADMK is a secular party and the alliance in the state is headed by AIADMK and not the BJP. Further BJP is contesting only in five seats. Moreover, the public voted for the BJP in the last election accepting their claims as a secular party. Our party follows the footprint of Amma and MGR and we believe in secularism.
In the past, the Muslim outfits had an alliance with the DMK when the DMK was with the BJP. The soil psychology of TN is different and the AIADMK has executed several
schemes for Muslims and Christians. Amma and MGR both are known for their pro-Muslim ideologies and this will help the party, Ponnaiyan added.
According to political commentator, Raveendran Duraisamy, the minority votes will certainly consolidate behind the DMK-led alliance and the AIADMK will get the pro-Modi votes. Just ahead of the poll notification the PMK and AMMK admitted that they would be ready to ally with the Congress eying the minority votes. The votes will split as pro and anti-Modi, Duraisamy added.
“Minorities play a major role in deciding the winning candidates in Vellore, North Chennai, Central Chennai, Ramanathapuram, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Nagercoil, Thoothukkudi and Tirunelveli Lok Sabha seats,” says Poonga Nagar Selvam, an AIADMK functionary. Our party founders were charismatic leaders, but now in their absence, we have to wait and watch on what the minorities will do, Selvam noted.
MMK the DMK’s friend
Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) was formed by MH Jawahirullah in 2009. It is the political wing of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam or TMMK, a Muslim non-governmental organisation. The party contested the 2011 Assembly elections in alliance with the AIADMK. It contested in three seats and won two of them. In the 2016 Assembly polls, MMK aligned with the DMK and was allotted four seats. Later it suffered a split.
MJK new kid on the block
During 2016 Assembly elections, the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), which suffered a split, joined the DMK alliance. Thamimun Ansari, who led the splinter group, formed a new party - Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi (MJK) - and aligned with the AIADMK. It got two seats in the ruling party front and contested in ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. After the BJP’s entry into AIADMK alliance, the MJK is warming up to the DMK on a host of issues.
SDPI joins hands with AMMK
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) also formed in 2009 is the political front of the Popular Front of India (PFI). The party fielded 30 candidates in six states in 2014 general elections. Its state president is VMS Muhammad Mubarak. In Tamil Nadu the party contested from 30 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls. The party, which has a formidable base in Karnataka, has aligned with AMMK for this LS polls and will contest from Central Chennai.
Old Guard gets Ramnad Indian
Union Muslim League (IUML) - the 71-year-old national party has been a traditional DMK ally. Party veterans KM Kadher Moideen and M Abdul Rahman represented the party in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha with DMK support in the past. SM Muhammed Sheriff, a two-time MP from the state, was the first MP of the party from the state. In 2019, it has bagged one seat – Ramanathapuram- in the DMKled alliance and Nawas Kani will represent it.