Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam said on Saturday evening that the alliance of his party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with th Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will continue for the 2021 Assembly election.

“AIADMK-BJP alliance will continue for 2021 assembly elections,” Paneerselvam said at a function organised for Amit Shah in Chennai where the Union home minister inaugurated infrastructure projects. The Tamil Nadu Assembly polls are expected to take place on April-May next year.

Shah is on a two-day visit to Chennai where he is scheduled to hold crucial meeting with BJP office-bearers and party’s district-level presidents.

The alliance between AIADMK and BJP has come into strain after over the latter’s Vetrivel Yatra (victorious spear march). The state government has denied permission citing the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and AIADMK’s mouthpiece called it “divisive”. However, BJP members have continued with the yatra across Tamil Nadu since November 6, courting arrests and being let off later.

A crucial consultative meeting was also held on Friday – a day before Shah’s visit – where the BJP showed its reluctance to accept chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) as the candidate for the top job in the 2021 Assembly election, said a party leader on the condition of anonymity.

Last month, after days of internal power tussle, Paneerselvam had officially announced Palaniswami as the AIADMK’s chief ministerial candidate.

Meanwhile, Shah took to Twitter to thank the city for its love and support.

“It is always great to be in Tamil Nadu. Thank you Chennai for this love and support,” he said in a tweet accompanying a video clip of his walk on GST Road.

Shad had earlier been here in Augsut 2019 to release a book on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s two years in office then.

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