A Anwar Raajaa, a senior AIADMK leader, was removed from the party membership after criticizing its BJP alliance. Anwar Raaja, the minority face of the party, has supported Sasikala to be the next leader of the AIADMK. Having been a member of the DMK from the 1960s, he joined the AIADMK since its formation by M G Ramachandran.
Party coordinator O Panneeraselvam, along with the joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami released a statement announcing Raajhaa's removal from the party and all responsibilities for his "anti-party activities".
Its ties with the BJP have been a source of internal strife for the AIADMK. Amid the mounting party fight between the Palaniswami and Paneerselvam factions, and with Anwar Raajhaa considered to be part of the Paneerselvam camp, the only Muslim leader left in the party was removed.
Senior AIADMK leaders told The Indian Express that they regret being a party without a single Muslim since Raajhaa was removed. He added that he criticised Palaniswami in district leaders' meetings, but it's his opposition to the alliance with the BJP that led to his removal. The alliance, he said, was to blame for the defeat of the party in the Assembly elections.
Mohammed Jan, another senior Muslim leader, passed away last March. Also, the party had previously taken action against party leader Nilofer Kafeel in May. One of the leaders, known to be a Raajhaa supporter, stated that, "These were leaders who ensured the minorities backed the AIADMK when Jayalalithaa was alive. However, things have changed since Palaniswami became CM,"
Since Jayalalithaa's death, Palaniswami has gradually obtained supremacy within the AIADMK, bringing the party closer to the BJP.Apparently, the AIADMK's corporation with the Centre was a major factor in its dropping in the last Assembly elections.
Palaniswami faces tough competition from Paneerselvam, who is associated with Sasikala, who has attempted to regain control of the AIADMK since Jayalalithaa was released from jail. Paneerselvam, according to sources, resisted the decision to take action against Raajhaa in the AIADMK executive council meeting. Meanwhile, a Muslim leader who served with the MGR Mandram, Tamil Magan Hussain, was appointed as interim chairperson of AIADMK's party presidium during the meeting.