The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are in talks and likely to forge an alliance soon for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, according to the reports. The party, currently ruling Tamil Nadu, is expected to hold a meeting of its high-level committee to discuss alliances, seat-sharing, campaigning and manifesto. The alliance could be finalised within a week, according to a report in The Times of India.
The report further adds that the AIADMK will contest on at least 24 out of the state's 39 parliamentary seats. The remaining seats will be contested by the BJP, Ramadoss' Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), GK Vasan's Tamil Maanila Congress and K Krishnaswamy's Puthiya Tamizhagam, among others.
According to the sources, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami's confidantes are said to be in touch with BJP president Amit Shah since the talks began a month ago. According to a report publish in the Hindustan Times, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS) had on February 3 said that the party was in talks with a friendly national party for an alliance.
Earlier, the AIADMK had said its doors for the alliance were open but insisted it will choose its partners based on certain "guidelines" including the prospective ally's record on pro-Tamil Nadu efforts. Senior AIADMK leader and state Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the party will consult its various stakeholders and arrive at a consensus before firming up a poll pact.
"We have not closed our doors regarding alliance... (others) can come. But there are certain guidelines like what public welfare measures they have done for the state (Tamil Nadu), whether they support the government in its efforts to uphold the state's rights," he told reporters.
Besides these guidelines, the party will also brainstorm with its rank and file, even as there are various decision-making committees that will deliberate upon the issue, he said. After consulting all these stakeholders, the party will arrive at a consensus on its electoral alliance, the minister said.