Former AIADMK leader Maitreyan moves to BJP

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New Delhi: Former AIADMK MP V Maitreyan (C) joins BJP in the presence of BJP leader Arun Singh (R), at party headquarters in New Delhi, Friday, June 9, 2023. (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)

New Delhi: Former Rajya Sabha member V Maitreyan, who was expelled from the AIADMK last year, joined the BJP on Friday, expressing confidence that the "lotus" will bloom in Tamil Nadu in 2024 and 2026, when Lok Sabha and assembly polls are due respectively.

Maitreyan was in the BJP before joining the AIADMK more than two decades ago and was considered a close aide to its leader J Jayalalithaa who sent him to Rajya Sabha thrice.

However, Edappadi K Palaniswami, who has taken firm control of the AIADMK after her death, expelled him for "anti-party activities" last year.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, Maitreyan told reporters at the BJP headquarters that he is not merely a name but the "mission and vision" of a resurgent India which is making rapid strides in different fields.

"The 'lotus' (BJP's poll symbol) will bloom in Tamil Nadu in 2024 and 2026," Maitreyan said.

He joined the party in the presence of its national general secretaries Arun Singh and C T Ravi.

With the BJP's ties with the AIADMK seen to be far from smooth despite Palaniswami's assertions that their alliance continues, Ravi said his party has been playing the role of a real opposition in the state even though it has only four MLAs. It is fighting the DMK government over people's issues, he said.

Singh said the BJP has been expanding with people impressed with Modi's leadership joining it. "Modi supporters" have turned into "Modi bhakts" (devotees to Modi) as people ranging from farmers to the poor see him as messiah, he claimed. PTI

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