Founded in 1972, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party is the most influential in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The AIADMK was formed by the well-known Tamil movie superstar and producer M G Ramachandran in 1972. The party came into existence when MGR split from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). His wife Janaki and another Tamil film star J Jayalalithaa worked hard during the early years of the AIADMK. The party enjoyed the polarised style of voting pattern of the state. However, the death of MGR threw the party in troubled waters.
Later, Jayalalithaa took over the reins of the party as its supremo and helped it become a major force in the state. Since the death of Jayalalithaa in late 2016, however, the party has been in a state of turmoil. While initially two factions within the party struggled for internal power, later it was Jayalalithaa’s confidante V K Sasikala staking claim to the political legacy of the dead leader. Subsequently, after Sasikala was suspended from the party following the Supreme Court reprimanding her in a disproportionate asset case, the two factions — one each led by Edapaddi Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam — merged and have since been ruling the state government together. While Palaniswamy is the present chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Panneerselvam, who had previously filled in for Jayalalithaa as CM on three different occasions, is the deputy chief minister.
The AIADMK at present has 37 seats in the Lok Sabha and 13 in the Rajya Sabha. Among the most prominent party leaders are O Paneerselvam, Edappadi Palaniswami, and E Madhusudhanan.