Expulsion of Anwhar Raajhaa Not a good omen for the AIADMK

Anwhar Raajhaa

By Syed Ali Mujtaba

Chennai:  AIADMK, the opposition political party in Tamil Nadu has expelled its veteran leader Anwhar Raajhaa, for anti-party activity, just a few hours before its executive body meeting on December 1, 2021.


Raajhaa, the former AIADMK MP and the minister was in the news for criticizing the current leadership of the party accusing them of lacking transparency and straying from the path of the party’s guiding lights; MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalitha.

The former MP from Ramanathapuram, who has been in the AIADMK since its inception that’s 17 October 1972 has been dissatisfied with the party’s alliance with the BJP. He was upset with AIADMK leadership making way for the Hindutva party to enter the Dravidian heartland.  Raajhaa openly accused the AIADMK leadership of stitching the unholy alliance that led to the party’s disastrous performance in the assembly election and the local body election.

Raajhaa has reportedly said that it’s foolish thinking of the former Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy that the BJP regime may come back to power in 2024 and supporting the saffron party will be a wise act. ‘This is foolish because the AIADMK has lost heavily due to its tie-up with the BJP’, Raajhaa, has reportedly said.

Further, Raajhaa accused the current AIADMK leadership of miserable performance at the assembly elections and the local body elections. The AIADMK was totally decimated in the Panchayat elections while it was able to get a 33 percent share of the vote in the assembly elections.

 The veteran leader has been also critical of the dual leadership in the party. Since the demise of the beloved leader J. Jayalalitha, Edappadi Palanisamy and his deputy O. Panneer Selvam, is holding the reigns of the party. This was criticized by Anwhar Raajhaa who said there should not be any dual leadership and the AIADMK cadre should be allowed to elect its leader a new leader who can head the party.

The removal of Anwhar Raajhaa cannot be simply seen as a criticism of the AIADMK current leadership. He has also come in open support of  Sasikala Natrajan and canvassing for her at the party. The veteran leader in an interview advocated bringing back Sasikala to make the AIADMK strong. This was not liked by the current leadership because if Sasikala is back, it will surely be curtains for the current leadership. In such a case, the new set of leaders of the AIADMK thought it more prudent to expel Anwhar Raajhaa, and silence such a voice. Anyway, the veteran leader is an old guard and is seen as a chip of the old block that has lost its relevance in post-Jayalalitha in the party.

There is also a view that Anwar Raajhaa is expelled from the AIADMK because of his faith as he represented the voice of the Muslim community in the party. Raajhaa had protested against the passing of the triple talaq legislation by the Modi government and he has also spoken on a few other Muslim issues. Anwar Raajhaa’s opposition to the BJP’s anti-Muslim agenda is also cited as one of the many reasons for his expulsion.

 Whatever may be reasons for the expulsion of Anwhar Raajhaa, the fact remains that it is not a good omen for AIADMK. The party is in tatters after its defeat in the assembly elections. The pulls and precursors from different quarters are making it difficult for the cadres to remain together. The party can implode any moment from within. Therefore, holding together the AIADMK as one piece is the biggest challenge for the party today.


 Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com


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