The AIADMK’s alliance with the BJP will continue for the Tamil Nadu elections due early next year, Chief Minister E Palaniswami announced on Saturday during a visit by Union Minister Amit Shah to Chennai.
“The Lok Sabha alliance will continue for the assembly elections. We have given 10 years of good governance. Our alliance will win the 2021 polls. Tamil Nadu will always support PM [Narendra] Modi,” Mr Palaniswami said.
Mr Shah praised the Tamil Nadu government for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and said the state was the best-governed in the country this year according to the centre’s ranking.
“India under PM Modi has contained Covid while other nations struggle. I applaud E Palaniswami and [Deputy Chief Minister] O Panneerselvam for containing Covid. Tamil Nadu’s recovery rate is high. Covid statistics shared by Tamil Nadu are good. No other state has taken care of pregnant women like Tamil Nadu,” he said.
After a setback in the Lok Sabha elections, the AIADMK hopes to trump rival DMK once again in the state where it has been in power for more than nine years now.
The AIADMK defeated the DMK in the 2011 assembly polls when J Jayalalithaa led the party to a resounding victory. It won again in 2016 before the DMK bounced back with a strong performance in last year’s Lok Sabha elections.
An alliance led by the DMK, also including the Congress, won 38 of the 39 parliament seats in Tamil Nadu, besides the lone Puducherry seat, leaving just one to the AIADMK, in the first major election in the state held after the death of Ms Jayalalithaa and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Earlier, Amit Shah was received by Mr Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, senior cabinet members and BJP State President L Murugan among others on his arrival from Delhi, before proceeding to his hotel.
On the way, he got out of his vehicle and walked on the busy GST Road outside the airport to greet supporters, minutes after he landed. Thanking his supporters, he said it was “great” to be in Tamil Nadu.