AIADMK likely to contest on 23-25 seats, while BJP may get 8-10 seats.
NEW DELHI: The BJP is all set to seal a pact with Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravidra Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together along with two other parties. Once done, it will be a major gain for the BJP which has been trying to get a foothold in Tamil Nadu. This will be the second state in South India after Karnataka where BJP has been able to make inroads.
A highly placed source in the BJP told The Sunday Guardian that an alliance with AIADMK was “almost certain”. “All the issues have been resolved. The discussions on specific seats on which the two parties would field candidates are in an advanced stage,” he said. He, however, added that a formal announcement in this regard may be made only after the election dates are announced.
He said, besides BJP and AIADMK, the other parties which could be part of the alliance are their earlier ally Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and Vijay Kanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK). Talks are also going on with other smaller parties like Puthiya Tamizhagam and G.K. Vasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress, he added.
According to him, AIADMK may contest on 23-25 seats while BJP would contest on 8-10 seats. Other seats would be distributed among PMK and DMDK. Tamil Nadu has a total of 39 parliamentary seats.
The development assumes significance as the M.K. Stalin-led DMK has already formed a rainbow coalition along with the Congress, Left parties, Vaiko’s Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).
“There is a feeling within the AIADMK that now that J. Jayalalithaa is no more, the party needs a strong leader to keep the cadre base intact. This can be possible when elections are contested under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. Moreover, the party leaders also feel that since the DMK-Congress alliance has already been worked out, it will be beneficial for AIADMK to align with the other major national party (i.e. BJP). This will also help them get a share of power at the Centre when BJP comes back to power,” explained the source.
The NDA in Tamil Nadu had put together a front in 2014 Lok Sabha elections comprising BJP, DMDK, PMK, MDMK and a few other smaller parties. The alliance won two seats while AIADMK alone won rest of the seats. Karunanidhi’s DMK could not win even a single seat. However, the BJP could not keep its partners intact later.