Almost a week after it allotted the BJP 20 seats for the assembly election in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK on Wednesday (March 10) released the list of constituencies that the national party will contest from. The BJP may be able to make an impact in at least 12 of the 20 seats.
Seven of the seats — Coimbatore South, Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram, Modakkurichi, Karaikkudi, Dharapuram (SC) and Madurai North — have traditionally been a stronghold of the AIADMK and it has performed well in these constituencies in most elections in the past. The AIADMK votes, therefore, are likely to go to the BJP this time.
The BJP has a decent chance in four other constituencies, too — Thalli, Karaikkudi, Udhagamandalam and Nagercoil.
Thalli is a seat that the BJP’s KV Muralidharan had won in 2001, while the party’s H Raja had won Karaikkudi in the same year. Udhagamandalam and Nagercoil are seats that the Congress had earlier. However, in recent times, the party has not been too active, allowing the BJP and the RSS to gradually make their presence felt.
The BJP has also got two reserved constituencies — Tittakudi, a seat dominated by Paraiyars in Cuddalore district, and Dharapuram with a large Arunthathiyar vote bank in Coimbatore district. It may believe its prospects to be bright in Dharapuram, where it may field either state president L Murugan or VP Duraisamy, as both of them belong to the Arunthathiyar community. Duraisamy had shifted loyalty from the DMK to the BJP in 2020. Both Murugan and Duraisamy come from same district, Namakkal. The BJP may have to fight the Adhi Tamilar Peravai (ATP), which represents the Arunthathiyars from the constituency. The ATP is a part of the DMK-led opposition alliance and it has been allotted one seat.
The BJP’s candidates list will be out in 2-3 days, Narayan Tirupathi, one of the spokespersons of the party, told The Federal.
“The party central command is yet to decide whether new faces, senior leaders or former legislators are to be fielded. There could some friction between us and AIADMK functionaries, who may feel aggrieved that some of constituencies that are the party’s stronghold have been given to us. However, we hope they will provide us the support needed to ensure our victory,” he said.