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AIADMK-led NDA faces seat-sharing, alliance problems

BJP pushing party to accommodate TTV’s AMMK

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

AIADMK-led NDA in Tamil Nadu is facing seat-sharing and alliance problems alike with pressure mounting on it to accommodate rebel Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) by BJP central leadership and the DMDK of Vijayakanth indicting contesting alone due to seat-sharing differences.

With seat-sharing talks underway, reports have emerged that the BJP has asked the AIADMK to accommodate TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK into the alliance. Reports say the issue was discussed during a late-night Sunday meeting between Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP secretary BL Santhosh with chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam.

BJP had reportedly stated that it would allocate seats to the AMMK from its share of seats in the alliance. However, the CM had expressed ‘serious concerns’ over the idea and categorically ruled out the entry of VK Sasikala, closest aide of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and expelled AIADMK general secretary, into the party after her release from Bengaluru jail.

When asked if he was okay to be in an alliance with the AIADMK and BJP to defeat DMK, the AMMK chief said any party opposed to the DMK and willing to accept his party’s leadership could join its led combine.” Dhinakaran had just finished a meeting with Sasikala, at her residence in T Nagar on Tuesday.

Sasikala had on Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary last week called upon all supporters of Jayalalithaa to come together and make her dream ~ that AIADMK should rule the state for 100 years ~ come true.

But in the meeting with Amit Shah and at other informal talks with BJP leaders, according to sources, chief minister Palanisamy has been steadfast on his stand that Sasikala cannot come back to the AIADMK and the party did not want any ties with TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK. Sources say that O Panneerselvam who had been the first to rebel against Sasikala as she prepared to become the CM of the state in February 2017, is of moderate approach towards the idea because he is concerned that there would be a split in the votes of the Thevar community if the AIADMK does not accommodate Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran.

The alliance faces another threat of losing DMDK, another ally, due to seat sharing differences. After talks with AIADMK and DMDK hit a roadblock on Monday, DMDK deputy general secretary LK Sudhish took to social media and hinted that the party may contest alone in the upcoming polls. He posted an image saying “Our CM Vijayakant, our symbol Murasu (war drum) and our flag is DMDK party flag”.

AIADMK has allotted PMK 23 seats, but DMDK is expecting half the seats allotted to PMK.