In an expected move on Tuesday, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
The announcement of the alliance came a day after the AIADMK clinched a poll alliance with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
The announcement came after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam – both from AIADMK – met union minister Piyush Goyal in Chennai.
Speaking to reporters at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Panneerselvam said that the BJP will be contesting five Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu.
“AIADMK and BJP will have an alliance for Lok Sabha elections which will be a mega and winning alliance,” he said.
“BJP will contest on five seats in Lok Sabha elections and we will be contesting together in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,” he told reporters.
Goyal, the Union Railway Minister, said, “We will support AIADMK in the by-elections on 21 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu. We have agreed to contest elections in the leadership of OPS and EPS in state and in leadership of Modi-ji at the Centre.”
The three leaders waved to supporters and expressed confidence in the victory of the alliance.
AIADMK was an ally in the first NDA government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2004. In 2014, the BJP allied with the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), both of which failed to win any seat in the Lok Sabha polls held that year.
While the BJP will get to contest on 5 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats, the PMK, which is led by S Ramadoss, will contest on 7 Lok Sabha seats. The PMK will also be allocated a Rajya Sabha seat.
Panneerselvam said AIADMK will fight on 21 vacant assembly seats in the by-elections and PMK will support it.
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 made a 10-point charter of demands,” Ramadoss said.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin on Tuesday slammed the alliance between AIADMK and PMK.
“Chief of PMK, Dr Ramadoss, had criticised them (AIADMK) for corruption. In fact, he has even brought out a book on the corrupt practices of Jayalalithaa, present TN CM and Dy CM. Is he not ashamed of this?” he said.
BJP’s alliance with AIADMK comes a day after the party led by Amit Shah agreed on a pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra that came after months of strain between the two NDA allies.