K. Annamalai appointed BJP’s new Tamil Nadu chief

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K. Annamalai appointed BJP’s new Tamil Nadu chief

Chennai, July(8) Tamil Nadu BJP president L. Murugan’s elevation to the Union Council of Ministers has triggered intense lobbying for the party post that was vacated by him.

The BJP national president, J.P. Nadda, however, moved fast to name K. Annamalai as the new president of the Tamil Nadu unit.

A former IPS officer of the Karnataka cadre, Annamalai quit the Civil Services to launch a charitable foundation in his native Karur district. He joined the BJP last year and contested the recent Assembly elections from the Aruvakurichi constituency.

Annamalai has quite a legacy to live up to. After becoming BJP state president in March 2020, Murugan ensured that the party was able to lift its tally in the state Assembly from zero to four after the recent elections.

He also proved to be a grassroots leader and was able to pull off the Vetrivel Yatra across the state, despite the BJP’s weak presence, to oppose the atheist groups belonging to the ‘Karuppu Kuttam’ who had discredited Lord Subramanian.

The Vetrivel Yatra could not become a mass movement because of the BJP’s weaknesses, but Murugan proved his organisational mettle and was rewarded.

When the state party president’s post was up for grabs, several names of probables were being discussed. One was the state unit’s general secretary, K.T. Raghavan.

A lawyer by profession and a full-time active leader of the state BJP, Raghavan had the backing of Murugan. Thanks to his strong organisatioal links with the BJP and the RSS, and his suave demeanour, he was considered to be a major contender.

The possibility of old warhorses such as Pon Radhakrishnan, a former Union minister, and H. Raja, a former national Secretary of the BJP, being asked to take charge was also being talked about, but the party leadership settled for a younger face.

The BJP leadership had preferred a Dalit leader, Murugan in this case, to head the party during election time, but this time round, it chose to name the next president purely on merit and his ability to carry the organisation forward. Another important consideration was the new state unit president’s ability get along with the party’s alliance partner, AIADMK.

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