The BJP and AIADMK on Tuesday announced an alliance in the state of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party will contest on 5 seats in the state. With this announcement, the AIADMK has formally joined the BJP-led NDA. "The NDA will win all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry," said Union Minister Piyush Goyal. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam were also present with Goyal while making the announcement in Chennai.
"We 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 the leadership of Modiji at the center," he said.
Earlier in the day, the ruling AIADMK allotted seven Lok Sabha seats to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. Announcing the deal in the presence of the chief minister, AIADMK coordinator and Deputy CM Panneerselvam said it has also been decided that the PMK will be allocated a Rajya Sabha seat.
Under the deal, the PMK will be supporting the AIADMK in the bypolls expected on 21 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, he said. A formal agreement in this regard was signed between the leadership of the two parties in a city hotel.
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. The demands include declaring the Cauvery delta districts as a protected farm region, a caste-wise census be held in Tamil Nadu and seven Rajiv case convicts be set free.
"This coalition will be successful in all the 40 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry," he said. "The rationale for aligning with the AIADMK will be explained by his son and former Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss later," he added.
It must be noted that the AIADMK, with 37 seats, is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha after the BJP and the Congress. With the various alliances in the offing for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the party will contest a lesser number of seats as compared to 2014. The Vijayakanth-led DMDK, the AINRC and the Tamil Maanila Congress are likely to join the AIADMK-led alliance in the state.