BJP-AIADMK-PMK Seal Alliance in Tamil Nadu For 2019 LS Elections
After much speculation and back-and-forth negotiations, the BJP-AIADMK-PMK sealed an alliance on Tuesday, 19 February, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.
After Union Minister Piyush Goyal arrived in Chennai to seal the deal, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Palaniswami announced at a press briefing, “BJP will contest on 5 seats in Lok Sabha elections and we will be contesting together in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.”
Piyush Goyal said, “We (BJP) will support AIADMK in the by-elections on 21 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu. We have agreed to contest elections under the leadership of OPS and EPS in the state and under Modi ji at the center.”
Earlier in the day, the ruling AIADMK announced a poll alliance with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
Under the deal, the PMK would support AIADMK in the bypolls to be held in 21 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, Panneerselvam said.
For the AIADMK, the deal with the PMK, which has a significant clout in several northern and western pockets of Tamil Nadu, is seen as a shot in the arm.
The alliance also comes hours after BJP National President Amit Shah was forced to cancel his visit to Chennai owing to AIADMK’s negotiations with PMK.
According to reports, Amit Shah was keen on visiting Chennai to finalise the alliance after successfully doing so in Maharashtra on Monday,18 February, but stayed away due to possible embarrassment caused by last minute hiccups. The DMK, meanwhile, is likely to go with its already existing partners, including Congress, CPI, CPM, MDMK, VCK and IUML.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, PMK was part of the NDA alliance led by BJP and included parties such as DMDK and MDMK. The PMK managed to bag the lone seat of Dharmapuri, with Anbumani Ramadoss emerging as the winner. However, Ramadoss was reportedly miffed with the BJP after he was not given a Cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi-led central government.
DMK, Congress Slam BJP-AIADMK-PMK Pact
DMK Chief M K Stalin flayed the AIADMK-PMK alliance, saying it was formed not for the benefit of the country, but for monetary gain.
“The AIADMK-PMK alliance has been formed without a thought for the country or the people...They have forged an alliance only for money.”MK Stalin
Recalling that PMK founder S Ramadoss had slammed AIADMK leaders in public and through statements, he told reporters that Ramadoss had even penned a book on alleged irregularities of (Chief Minister) K Palaniswami and late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.
"Today he is sharing the dais with such people (Palaniswami). Don't you have any shame?" he asked.
Stalin pointed out that the AIADMK-PMK alliance had contested seven seats in the 2009 Assembly elections and two in the Lok Sabha polls.
The PMK had lost in all the seats they contested.
"I had stated at that time that the PMK would lose all seven seats and the results proved it," he said.
"Now they have been alloted one Rajya Sabha seat. Let’s wait and see what is going to happen," he said.
The state congress also slammed the alliance, with TNCC President K S Alagiri saying he did not expect the PMK, which has always prided itself in fighting for the rights of the Most Backward Classes, to forge an alliance with BJP, “a party working for the forward communities.”
"It is unfortunate that PMK has formed an alliance with AIADMK. It is not acceptable. PMK has committed a historic blunder," he told reporters.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan termed the AIADMK-PMK alliance an "illusion."
(With inputs from The News Minute and PTI.)