With ties between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and AIADMK hitting a new low, 13 party functionaries including an IT wing officer bearer quit the saffron party on Wednesday.
Orathi Anbarasu, IT wing chief of the party's Chennai west unit and 12 others quit the party but made it clear they would not join the ruling DMK. Instead, they would follow the political path of their "leader" and former State IT wing chief CTR Nirmal Kumar, who has also quit the BJP and joined the AIADMK.
Earlier, a couple of other party functionaries also left BJP and joined the K Palaniswami-led AIADMK, leading to a war of words between the two allies.
Kumar had quit the party and joined the AIADMK on Sunday, accusing BJP State president K Annamalai of having a secret understanding with a DMK minister.
In a statement, Anbarasu said he had been in the BJP for a long and said he did not want to fall prey to "conspiracies " in the party and was therefore quitting it.
Meanwhile, responding to a query raised by media persons in Coimbatore, Annamalai said that the issue of some second or third-rung leaders leaving the party has taken a more significant dimension, as other parties were keenly watching the developments in BJP.
"There are possibilities of some big leaders leaving BJP and big leaders coming to the party after three months," he said.
Annamalai said that he had not joined BJP to have an MP or MLA tag behind his name but for the party's growth.
Annamalai declared that the AIADMK poaching from the BJP indicates that his party has "arrived". "This shows we are growing in Tamil Nadu. The BJP has arrived," said state BJP chief K Annamalai.