Days after losing late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar Assembly seat to their arch-rival TTV Dhinakaran, a senior AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu minister, Sellur K Raju, on Thursday asserted that his party would never align with the “communal” BJP.Raju’s comments come in the wake of political observers crediting Dhinakaran’s victory to the AIADMK’s increasing proximity to the BJP since after Jayalalithaa’s death last year.”After Amma’s death, we continued our amicable relationship with the BJP government at the Centre. But the Centre’s policies like GST earned the wrath of the people. During the by-election campaign, Dhinakaran criticised the BJP government and it helped him get votes of minority Muslims who constitute 30 percent of the voters in RK Nagar. Hence, he won the bypoll,” Raju said while addressing a meeting of his party’s office bearers in Madurai.Raju, considered to be a close Dhinakaran aide, claimed that Jayalalithaa had told party leaders that she had made the mistake of joining an alliance with the BJP once, and that she would never want to repeat it. “Amma was very clear on not joining an alliance with communal forces. We will not deviate from her path. We will not align with communal forces again,” he said.Political observers felt that Dhinakaran, the nephew of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, was targeted by the Centre after his fallout with the ruling AIADMK. “He was arrested and imprisoned in Tihar for allegedly attempting to bride an unnamed Election Commission official. It was followed by IT raids. All these got him the sympathy of the party cadres, even as the AIADMK was getting closer with the BJP,” said Prof Ramu Manivannan, HoD, Political Science at University of MadrasMeanwhile, Tamil Nadu Assembly session will begin on January 8; the first time the Assembly meets after the disqualification of the 18 MLAs owing allegiance to Dhinakaran who will be sworn in by Speaker P Dhanapal on Friday.
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