Anwhar Raajhaa, AIADMK’s last minority leader who opposed BJP alliance, expelled from party

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AIADMK senior member and the face of minorities in the party, A Anwhar Raajhaa from Ramanathapuram, was removed from the party’s primary membership on Tuesday night. The former MP’s removal was following his public remarks against the BJP alliance of the party besides criticising dual leadership and for sounding in favour of V K Sasikala, the ousted general secretary of the party.

A joint statement from AIADMK coordinator O Panneeraselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami said Raajhaa was removed from the party and all responsibilities for indulging in anti-party activities.

Senior AIADMK leaders told The Indian Express that AIADMK has become a party without Muslims with the removal of Raajhaa. “He spoke about dual leadership, he criticised Palaniswami in district leaders’ meetings. But above all, it was his staunch opposition to the BJP alliance that invited action; he blamed this alliance as a reason for the party’s defeat (in assembly elections). A DMK man from the 1960s, he was with MG Ramachandran’s leadership from the initial days of AIADMK. He was the face of minorities in the party,” the leader said.

“After the removal of Nilofer Kafeel last May and the death of Mohammedjan last March, Raajhaa was the single face of minorities. While these were the leaders who sustained the support of minorities for AIADMK when Jayalalithaa was alive, things have changed after Palaniswami came to power. We are free from minorities now,” said another leader who was in agreement with Raajhaa on many issues.

A top source close to the leadership said when Palaniswami was going ahead with action against Raajhaa on Tuesday ahead of the AIADMK executive council meeting Wednesday, Panneerselvam opposed the move. “He did oppose and tried to retain Raajhaa but finally he had to agree. We do not know what exactly made him finally agree,” the source said.

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