Lok Sabha polls: BJP, AIADMK reach electoral understanding, announcement likely today

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Published: February 19, 2019 9:44:32 AM

BJP AIADMK alliance: The BJP and Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK have reached an agreement for the Lok Sabha polls and an announcement could be made as early as today.

BJP AIADMK allianceLok Sabha polls: BJP, AIADMK reach electoral understanding, announcement likely today

AIADMK BJP alliance 2019: A day after sealing an election pact with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra for the upcoming general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to expand its footprint in the South where it has minimal presence. According to multiple media reports, the BJP and Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK have reached an agreement for the Lok Sabha polls and an announcement could be made as early as today. Both BJP president Amit Shah and party’s election in-charge for Tamil Nadu Piyush Goyal are likely to visit the state today where they will meet the AIADMK leadership to finalise the deal.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the BJP had sought a 50-50 share for the 40 seats which includes one seat of Puducherry, but the party is learnt to have agreed on a formula where BJP and its partners will get to field candidates on 15 seats. The AIADMK will contest the remaining 25 seats.

In the 2014 polls, the BJP had contested elections in an agreement with MDMK, PMK, DMDK, IJK, KMDK and PNK. While BJP and MDMK had contested 7 seats each, the DMDK had fielded candidates on 14 seats. The PMK had got 8 seats and the rest contested on one seat each. However, the AIADMK under Jayalalithaa’s leadership had won 37 seats with NDA getting only two seats while the DMK and Congress drew a blank.

Of the 15 seats, the BJP is likely to get eight seats and leave the remaining seats for allies DMDK, PMK and Puthiya Thamizhagam, The Indian Express reported citing sources. According to the sources, the BJP and AIADMK were waiting to hear from actor-turned-politician Rajnikanth whom they were expecting to come on board for an electoral understanding. But the superstar recently declared that he will not try his electoral luck this time.

The leaders of the two parties believe that despite the anti-incumbency against AIADMK, the coalition could give a tough fight to the DMK-Congress alliance. Local BJP and AIADMK leaders feel that banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity in the state will help them to drive the numbers. The PM is expected to address rallies in Tirupur and Kanyakumari in the coming week.

“Piyush Goyal finalised the seat-sharing formula at a late-night meeting with AIADMK leaders Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam (the Deputy Chief Minister) last week,” a party leader said, adding that AIADMK gave the responsibility of bringing PMK on board to BJP.

If PMK decides to contest election this time with the BJP, it will be given three seats. The DMDK is also likely to get three seats from NDA’s quota.

The Lok Sabha polls are due to be held in April and May. The state will go to polls in mid 2021.

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