The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is a state political party in the states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, India. The AIADMK also has a presence in other Indian states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
It is a Dravidian party founded by M.G. Ramachandran (popularly known as MGR) in 1972 as a breakaway faction of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The AIADMK has been headed by Ms. Jayalalithaa since 1989. The AIADMK’s General Secretary, Ms Jayalalithaa, assumed office as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the third time after a landslide victory in 2011.
The party headquarters is in Royapettah, Chennai, and was gifted to the party in 1986 by its former leader Janaki Ramachandran, wife of MGR. The party headed its coalition to win the Tamil Nadu assembly election 6 times to head the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
MGR Era (1972–1987)
The party was founded in 1972 as Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) by MGR, a veteran Tamil film star and a popular politician, as a breakaway faction of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Later, the party leaders prefixed All India (AI) tag before the party name. MGR used his fan network for building the party cadre. The AIADMK recruited more than 10 lakh members from the first two months of creation. The first victory of the AIADMK was in the Dindigul parliamentary by-election in 1973. It also won the Coimbatore assembly by-election a year later.
The DMK-led government was dismissed by a Central promulgation of corruption charges in 1976. The party came to power in 1977 after trouncing DMK in the assembly elections. MGR was sworn in as the 7th Chief Minister of the state on 30 June, 1977. MGR remained in power for ten years till his death in December 1987 winning three consecutive assembly elections held in 1977, 1980 and 1984.
In 1979, AIADMK became the first Dravidian and regional party to be part of the Union Cabinet, when two AIADMK MP’s, Satyavani Muthu and Aravinda Bala Pajanor, joined the Charan Singh Ministry which followed the Morarji Desai-led Janata Party government of 1977-79.
In a massive reverse of fortunes for the DMK – Congress alliance, the AIADMK won a comfortable majority in the state assembly by winning 129 seats out of 234. Dr. MGR was sworn in as chief minister for the second time on 09.06.1980.
In 1984, even with MGR’s failing health and subsequent hospitalization abroad, the party managed to win the assembly elections.
Many political historians considered MGR’s persona and charisma at that point of time as “infallible”, and a logical continuation of his on-screen “good lad” image, strengthened by his “mythical status” in the minds of the masses.
MGR continued to enjoy popular support in his third tenure, which ended with his demise on 24.12.1987.
Two factions of the AIADMK were formed – one under Janaki Ramachandran, wife of MGR and the other under Ms. Jayalalithaa.
The DMK government was dismissed in 1990 by the Central Government led by Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, an ally of the AIADMK at that time, as the constitutional machinery in the state had completely broken down.
The AIADMK swept to power in the assembly elections of 1991 under the leadership of Ms. Jayalalithaa, who became the 2nd woman Chief Minister and the 10th Chief Minister of the state.
Despite false accusations of corruption, Ms. Jayalalithaa completed her full term of five years as Chief Minister.
In the 2001 Assembly Election, the AIADMK-led alliance, consisting of the Congress, the Tamil Maanila Congress , the Left Front and the Pattali Makkal Katchi, regained power, winning 197 seats, with AIADMK winning 132 of them.
Due to the proceedings in a disproportionate assets case which occurred in her previous tenure, Ms. Jayalalithaa was prevented from holding office. The AIADMK’s treasurer and current Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam was appointed as the Chief Minister on 21.09.2001.
Once the Supreme Court overturned Ms. Jayalalithaa’s conviction and sentence in the case, O.Panneerselvam resigned on 02.03.2002. Ms. Jayalalithaa was sworn in again as Chief Minister.
During her 2nd term in office, Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa took many popular decisions such as banning of lottery tickets, restricting the liquor and sand quarrying business to government agencies and banning tobacco product sales near schools and colleges.
She encouraged women to join the state police force by setting up all women-police stations and commissioning 150 women into the elite level police commandos in 2003, a first of its kind in India. The women underwent the same training as their male counterparts, covering the handling of weapons, detection and disposal of bombs, driving, horse riding and adventure sports.
Chief Minister Ms Jayalalithaa sent a special task force to the Satyamangalam forests in October 2004 to hunt down notorious sandalwood smuggler, Veerappan. The operation was successful as Veerappan was finally killed by the task force on 18.10.2004.
Corruption became rampant during the DMK regime from 2006 to 2011. The Himalayan 2G Spectrum Scam involving Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and former Telecommunications Minister of the DMK, A. Raja causing the Exchequer a loss to the tune of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore came to light. Nepotism by the DMK government also ensured its defeat.
In the 2011 Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly election, the AIADMK and its alliance won 202 seats of the 234 seats. The AIADMK alone won 150 seats.
Ms. Jayalalithaa was sworn in as Chief Minister for the 3rd time on 16.05.2011.
Expansion beyond Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
Under Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa’s regime, AIADMK has spread out beyond Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and state units have been established in the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The party floated 54 candidates across the state of Kerala in the 2006 assembly election and had contested on its own.
In Karnataka the party had members in the state assembly and has influence in the Tamil-speaking areas of Bangalore and Kolar district. AIADMK has its following in various other places like Mumbai and Delhi. There are also units in various countries where the Tamil population is spread out.
POLICIES OF THE AIADMK
MGR indicated he never “favored anti-Brahminism and AIADMK would oppose ethnic exclusion”. The AIADMK sought to depoliticize the education policy of the government by not insisting on the medium of education to be Tamil language. Policies of the AIADMK were targeted to the poorer segments of Tamil society – poor, rickshaw pullers, and destitute women and centralizing the massive Nutritious Noon Meal Scheme for children. There was an ambivalent approach towards the reservation policy and interest of farmers.
The AIADMK has posted an array of populist schemes targeting the human development index of the state. The AIADMK government distributed free cycles to class 11 and class 12 students during its tenure of 2001-2006.
The AIADMK during the 2011 elections announced free laptops for schools students and mixie, grinder and fans for the public. The AIADMK has kept up all its election promises after assuming power. The current AIADMK regime led by the charismatic Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa is marching ahead victoriously. Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa has been formulating and implementing a host of visionary schemes in the sectors of Education, Health, Social Welfare, Agriculture, Manufacturing, etc. for the development and welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu.
The AIADMK is now aspiring to provide leadership to the entire nation through Lok Sabha Election 2014, throwing out the Congress led coalition Government at the Centre that is afflicted with policy paralysis. The slogan of the AIADMK for Lok Sabha Election 2014 is Peace, Prosperity and Progress.
Once a Central Government is formed with the participation of the AIADMK, a determined, bold and strong leadership would be provided to the nation.