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BJP clinches LS poll deal with AIADMK; to contest 5 seats

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 20, 2019 00:19 IST
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IMAGE: Union Minister and BJP's Tamil Nadu election in-charge Piyush Goyal addresses media after ruling AIADMK party signed an alliance with BJP for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, in Chennai, on Tuesday. Senior leaders of AIADMK and BJP, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam are also seen. Photograph: R Senthil Kumar/PTI Photo

Stealing a march over arch rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu Tuesday cobbled an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Pattali Makkal Katchi for the Lok Sabha elections, describing it as a 'mega and victorious' combine amid indications some more parties are set to be roped in.

As per the understandings reached separately, BJP and PMK would contest five and seven seats respectively out of the total 39 Lok Sabha constituencies at stake in the state, AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced on a day of fast paced political developments.


Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the BJP election-incharge for Tamil Nadu who led the saffron party in the negotiations, said the alliance would sweep all 40 seats in the state and Puducherry 'as a mark of reverence to late chief minister Jayalalithaa'.

The alliance would be under AIADMK in Tamil Nadu while at the national level the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will steer the National Democratic Alliance coalition, he told reporters.

While the number of segments to be fought by the AIADMK will be known later after other allies are allotted their share, the PMK will also get one Rajya Sabha seat this year.

The DMK-led opposition camp which includes Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League is yet to conclude seat sharing and firm up the alliance with outfits including the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, described as 'friendly parties', by it.

The PMK, which gave up its earlier policy of not aligning with either of the major Dravidian parties in the state, had held discreet talks with DMK as well, but in the end the AIADMK managed to woo it.

The coming Lok Sabha polls is the first major electoral battle for the AIADMK after the demise of its charismatic leader Jayalalithaa in December, 2016.

For the DMK too, it would be the first key poll battle after the death of its patriarch M Karunanidhi in August last year.

DMK described the alliance between the PMK and AIADMK as 'nothing for the sake of the country or people', but 'worried about money'.

The AIADMK-led alliance which is likely to include Vijayakanth-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, will fight the Parliamentary elections in both Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry, which has a lone Lok Sabha seat, together.

Besides, both the BJP and PMK will lend their support to the AIADMK in crucial bypolls expected to 21 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK-BJP alliance was firmed up hours after the Dravidian party clinched the deal with the PMK.

The announcements on the poll deals were made by Panneerselvam in the presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and leaders of the PMK and BJP separately at a star hotel in Chennai following conclusion of the parelys.

"It was decided to face the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry by forging a mega, victorious alliance," Panneerselvam told a large gathering of media persons out side the hotel.

PMK founder leader S Ramadoss described the coalition as 'an alliance for people's welfare, a mega coalition and a victorious alliance'.

"To retrieve the rights of Tamil Nadu people, we have put forth a 10-point charter of demands," he said.

Declaring Cauvery delta districts as a protected farm zone, holding a caste wise census in Tamil Nadu and releasing the seven Rajiv case convicts were among the demands, he said.

"This coalition will be successful in all the 40 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry," he said.

PMK has a significant clout in northern and western parts of the state where the dominant most backward Vanniyar community forms its key support base.

Goyal said: "I am extremely delighted that today the AIADMK and the BJP have concluded very fruitful discussions and we have agreed to contest the Parliament elections both in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the bypolls to 21 assembly seats together in alliance."

The seat sharing talks was led by Goyal from the BJP side in which party's state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan also took part while Panneerselvam and Palaniswami along with others represented the AIADMK.

Earlier, Ramadoss, his son Anbumani Ramadoss and other senior PMK leaders held talks with the AIADMK team.

Later in the day, Goyal called on DMDK chief Vijayakanth, who recently returned from USA after medical treatment, at the latter's residence and described the meeting as 'beyond politics'.

The Railway Minister said he conveyed Modi's best wishes for him for a good health and long life to serve the people.

In 2014, the BJP had led a rainbow coaliton of seven parties in Tamil Nadu. Both the BJP and PMK fought eight seats and won one each (BJP-Kanyakumari and PMK Dharmapuri).

The DMDK contested from 14 seats, Vaiko-led MDMK from seven and the Indiya Jananayaga Katchi and Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi one each and all of them drew a blank.

The AIADMK won 37 out of 39 seats under the leadership of Jayalalithaa who then went to the people with the slogan of 'Tamil Nadu's lady is better than Gujarat's Modi'.

Neither the DMK which had led a four-party alliance, nor the Congress, which contested the polls alone, managed to win a single seat.

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