The AIADMK and the BJP finalised a seat-sharing agreement late on Friday (March 5) night for the April 6 assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, with the Dravidian party allotting 20 seats to its ally. The BJP has also been given the Kanniyakumari seat for the Lok Sabha bypoll, which has been necessitated by the death of the sitting Congress member of Parliament, Vasanthakumar.
The agreement was reached between Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam of the AIADMK and BJP national general secretary and party’s Tamil Nadu in charge C T Ravi and the Tamil Nadu unit chief L Murugan.
The AIADMK had earlier reached an agreement with another ally, the PMK, allotting it 23 seats. It is yet to reach an understanding with DMDK, the party led by actor-turned-politician Vijayakant.
“The AIADMK and the BJP have decided to fight the assembly election on April 6 as allies. The AIADMK and the BJP reached an agreement to allot 20 seats to the BJP under the alliance led by the AIADMK,” said a statement that was released after the agreement was signed.
Earlier, there were reports that the BJP’s was demanding 24 seats as part of any agreement.
The AIADMK also announced a list of six candidates for the assembly polls, which will be held in a single phase with the results will be announced on May 2. Palaniswami, who is also the co-coordinator of the AIADMK, will contest from Edappadi in the Salem district. Panneerselvam, the party’s coordinator, will fight from Bodinayakanur in the Theni district.
The party said that D Jayakumar, who is a minister in the cabinet, will be the candidate from Royapuram, while another minister C Ve Shanmugam will be fielded from Villupuram. S P Shanmuganathan will contest from Srivaikuntam, while S Thenmozhi try to regain the Nilakkottai (reserved) seat.
Meanwhile, the opposition alliance led by the DMK has been holding talks to finalise seat-sharing. The DMK signed an agreement with the CPI on Friday allotting it six seats. Its talks with the Congress, however, have remained inconclusive so far. It is also yet to reach an agreement with the CPI(M) and the MDMK.