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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

BJP invokes Amma as AIADMK walks back into NDA, seals poll pact

Piyush Goyal claimed that the alliance will sweep Tamil Nadu in 2019 and win all the Lok Sabha seats in the state.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Feb 20, 2019 07:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and Piyush Goyal addressed a joint press conference on Tuesday.
Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and Piyush Goyal addressed a joint press conference on Tuesday.(Photo: ANI)

The AIADMK on Tuesday struck an alliance with the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The deal was sealed after Union minister Piyush Goyal held talks in Chennai with senior DMK leaders.

Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and Piyush Goyal addressed a joint press conference. “BJP will contest five Lok Sabha seats as part of the mega alliance in Tamil Nadu,” Goyal said.

The BJP said it will support the AIADMK in the by-election for 21 assembly seats in the state. “We have agreed to contest under the leadership in the state, EPS (E Palaniswami and OPS (O Panneerselvam) and at the national level as an NDA under Narendra Modi,” Goyal said.

Goyal, the BJP’s Tamil Nadu in-charge, claimed that the alliance will sweep the state in 2019 and win all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu (39) and Puducherry (1). Asked about the possibility of DMDK joining the NDA alliance, Goyal said he will meet party boss Vijayakant soon.

On Tuesday, AIADMK also agreed to a poll pact with the PMK. “Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) joined our alliance today. 7 seats have been allotted to PMK for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019,” deputy chief minister and coordinator of AIADMK, O Panneerselvam said, according to ANI.

Also read | Uddhav Thackeray drives hard bargain with BJP’s Amit Shah, gets more seats than 2014 in poll pact

In the 2014 general elections, the AIADMK had won 37 seats, while the BJP and the PMK had won a seat each.

PMK leader S Ramadoss said though the decision to align with AIADMK was to a small extent a compromise, he believed it was ‘very correct’, since the move would be beneficial to Tamil Nadu.

“It’s a winning alliance, a combine committed for people’s welfare,” Ramadoss said after talks with Panneerselvam and other AIADMK leaders that included chief minister E Palaniswami.

The OBC Vanniyar-dominant Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) will also get one Rajya Sabha seat, as per the alliance pact.

Ramadoss said they have submitted a 10-point charter of demands that includes caste-wise census, declaring Cauvery Delta region as a protected zone, closure of sand mining on river beds, release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, exemption from NEET, among others.

Panneerselvam also said that the PMK will not contest the by-elections for the 21 vacant seats in Tamil Nadu assembly and will support the AIADMK.

Also read | ‘BJP’s idea of holy alliance’: Congress’s comeback on poll pact with Shiv Sena

First Published: Feb 19, 2019 12:04 IST

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