It’s Complicated: Is the BJP-AIADMK Love-Hate Alliance Destined to Last?

Politics

It’s Complicated: Is the BJP-AIADMK Love-Hate Alliance Destined to Last?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

T

he wind of change is blowing across Tamil Nadu. As weeks of speculation over the Bharatiya Janta Party and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s “will they-won’t they” situation came to a conclusive end, the parties announced an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. For now, the national party and the regional one seem to be seeing eye-to-eye, but if they were a couple on Facebook, their relationship status would likely be “It’s complicated”. Over the past few decades the parties have been both friends and foes, and their latest partnership is a rickety bridge over some very troubled water.

Back when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was looking to enter history books by becoming the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve out a full term in 1998, his dream was derailed by AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa. By 1999, the relationship between the BJP and AIADMK had almost reached a point of no return, when J Jayalalithaa pulled out from the National Democratic Alliance. In retaliation, the Vajpayee government had also withdrawn its support to Jayalalithaa.

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