In the wake of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, reports suggest that the BJP and AIADMK have finalized a seat sharing equation. On Friday, a top AIADMK leader said the two parties have managed to reach a basic understanding of contesting 50 per cent of Lok Sabha seats each in Tamil Nadu, as part of the proposed alliance.
In his statement, the leader said, “Out of 40 seats (including one in the Union territory Puducherry) before us, we have an understanding to share 20 seats with BJP. It is also certain that BJP will be sharing seats with PMK (founded by S Ramadoss) and DMDK (led by Captain Vijayakanth) from their 20 seats”.
This statement came after the first round of talks between the two parties which included Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Arun Jaitley representing the BJP and S P Velumani and P Thangamanim, the senior most AIADMK ministers close to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. A senior BJP leader further claimed, “(Union minister) Arun Jaitley also played a role in taking these talks to a successful point.”
Sources from both the AIADMK and BJP confirmed that 20 seats would be reserved for AIADMK alone, while the BJP will share its 20 seats with PMK and DMDK. A few days back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing booth workers in Tamil Nadu via video conferencing, said his party cherished its old allies and said that the doors are always open for “old friends”.
Speaking about the seat sharing equation a BJP source said, “DMDK may be getting four seats, while PMK may get six. Powerful businessman Pachamuthu Parivendar of SRM Group, E R Eswaran of Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi (KMDK), a locally powerful Gounder community leader, and the Dalit party Puthiya Tamilagam of K Krishnasamy are other potential allies, who might get one seat each from BJP’s share”. The saffron party source confirmed that it is going to contest elections in the following seats: South Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Kanyakumari. Talks are ongoing for the other seats. The leader added, “Talks on either of the Madurai, Salem, Ramanathapuram seats or a seat in northern Tamil Nadu as well as in the Delta region in Tanjavur are still in progress”.
Not to forget that, Tamil Nadu is one of the largest states, which has 39 Lok Sabha seats, and a win here will have a massive national impact and further strengthen the saffron party’s grip in South India. The alliance talks, however, have shocked two prominent leaders, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, and AIADMK rebel and AMMK founder T T V Dhinakaran. A senior AIADMK leader also claimed that Panneerselvam is in fear of losing his MLA position after the verdict in his disproportionate assets case will be announced (estimated to announce in the month of March, later this year).
It seems that the coalition between two parties will surely be fruitful as a senior leader V Maitreyan, who is close to the O Panneerselvam camp in AIADMK, said, “It is almost certain that a bruised BJP is likely to form the government in the next Lok Sabha polls”. The saffron party through this alliance presented a one of its kind of “Mahagathbandhan” to counter DMK chief M. K. Stalin, who has risen as an important leader of the state after the death of his father M. Karunanidhi.