The AIADMK announced electoral alliances for the forthcoming general election and estimatedbypolls for vacant state assembly constituencies with regional party PMK and the BJP, a hard-fought victory for a party facing persistent questions over its majority in the state assembly owing to rampant factionalism after its chief J Jayalalithaa’s death.
“The AIADMK and the BJP have entered into a big-alliance for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam announced on Tuesday outside a hotel in Chennai, where brief negotiations were held with the BJP election in-charge for Tamil Nadu and Union minister Piyush Goyal.
As part of the tie-up, the BJP will field its candidates from five seats in Tamil Nadu, lower than many had anticipated.
Before in the day, AIADMK leaders met PattaliMakkalKatchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss for a brief final round of talks before announcing the PMK’s inclusion in the AIADMK-led alliance. The PMK will contest in seven seats.
Getting the PMK on board is a smart move, according to various political analysts and opposition leaders, considering the significant vote share of the Ramadoss-led party in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK is anticipated to parlay the vote share in its support should the Election Commission announce elections for vacant seats due to disqualification of lawmakers loyal to TTV Dhinkaran.
For the Opposition in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK-PMK combination will appear incongruous, considering the PMK’s severe criticism of the AIADMK government. Social media exploded with videos of parliamentarian and former Union health minister AnbumaniRamadoss swearing to never tie-up with Dravidian parties even as the PMK top brass sat next to AIADMK leaders at the poll announcement venue.