AIADMK-BJP alliance announcement today?

After working on it for several weeks, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to announce its rainbow alliance with AIADMK and half-a-dozen political parties in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. BJP President Amit Shah is expected to unveil the alliance on Tuesday evening after holding last-minute discussion with allies. PTI file photo

After working on it for several weeks, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to announce its rainbow alliance with AIADMK and half-a-dozen political parties in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. BJP President Amit Shah is expected to unveil the alliance on Tuesday evening after holding last-minute discussion with allies.

Though there is no clarity on whether PMK, the party with considerable influence among Vanniyars who hold the key in northern Tamil Nadu that constitutes for 17 Lok Sabha seats, and Congress’ splinter group TMC will be part of the alliance, DMDK led by Vijayakant, Puthiya Tamizhagam of Dr M Krishnaswamy, IJK, and Puthiya Needhi Katchi have confirmed their participation.

Shah, who will take a chartered flight from Mumbai where he announced the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance on Monday, is expected to land here around 11 am on Tuesday. Sources said the BJP President will meet leaders of AIADMK – Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam – and those belonging to other political parties for last-minute negotiations.

“The alliance is likely to be announced on Tuesday. That is why our national president is flying down,” a BJP leader, who is aware of the developments in the saffron party, told DH. The announcement is likely to be made at a joint press conference to be attended by leaders of all constituents of the alliance.

According to sources, the AIADMK is likely to get 23 to 25 seats, while the BJP and other alliance partners will share the remaining seats including the lone Puducherry constituency.

However, the leader said the figure could change during the talks between Shah and leaders of alliance partners. AIADMK and BJP have been holding informal talks since December for an alliance, but so far only one round of formal discussion has taken place – both EPS and OPS had met Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at a “common place” on Thursday last.

The alliance will be a formidable one and is expected to give the DMK alliance run for its money. It is also a deviation for the AIADMK from the long-held policy of its late chief J Jayalalithaa who had maintained equidistance from both the national parties – BJP and Congress.
However, the AIADMK, even under Jayalalithaa, had been bailing out the BJP in Parliament. The last time the two parties contested elections together was during 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

DH had on February 5 reported that despite stiff opposition from within, AIADMK is firm on an alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections.

BJP leaders feel an alliance with AIADMK would ensure that it gets the chunk of the regional party’s vote share if not the entire percentage. AIADMK under Jayalalithaa had polled more than 40 per cent of votes in 2016 assembly elections, but it might witness a deep plunge with AIADMK split into two after her passing away.

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AIADMK-BJP alliance announcement today?

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