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Tamil Nadu assembly polls: BJP may fail to secure more seats against PMK

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Chennai: The seat sharing begun in the poll-bound state, with Tamil Nadu Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam’s political meet with BJP leader and Union home minister Amit Shah as the top leaders lay strategies for the BJP-AIADMK alliance for the forthcoming assembly polls.

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The discussion that started around 10pm continued beyond midnight at a private hotel in the city after Shah returned from his campaign in Karaikal in the Union territory of Puducherry and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu.

As per a source in AIADMK, the ruling camp conveyed to the BJP delegation-led by state president L Murugan that visited EPS and OPS on Saturday morning that it would be possible to offer 21 seats to the national ruling party, since the PMK wanted to be the senior-most partner. “Talks may be completed with the BJP tonight. The AIADMK leadership is keen on finalising the seats in a day or two with other allies,” said the party insider.

The high level meeting was attended by BJP national general secretary B L Santosh, Murugan, along with senior party functionaries and the AIADMK’s lone MP P Raveendranath Kumar.

Meanwhile, the BJP has a list of 60 constituencies where it had polled ‘a remarkable’ number of votes in elections in the past. The party is negotiating for a number higher than that of the PMK, whereas, the AIADMK had sealed a poll pact with PMK on Saturday by offering 23 seats.

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As per reports, the AIADMK is likely to contest anywhere between 170 and 180 seats to win a majority on its own to form the third consecutive government in the state.

On the other hand, BJP aims to win more seats in the state as a core committee member said, “The BJP has gained strength in the last few years, but the AIADMK leadership says our party does not have even booth level agents in certain constituencies. Amit Shah on Sunday told the party’s core committee in Villupuram to increase its public visibility, work at the grassroots level and get along harmoniously with the election partners.”

Furthermore, the political turmoil in the poll-bound state also saw a three-member team from the DMDK, including presidium chairman V Elangovan, propaganda secretary Alagapuram R Mohanraj and deputy secretary B Parthasarathy holding talks with ministers P Thangamani and S P Velumani. The ministers had called on DMDK leader Vijayakanth at the latter’s residence on Saturday night, where DMK treasurer, Premalatha, during her meeting with partymen in Kallakurichi said, “Even if we contest alone we would secure more than 10% voteshare. But Captain (Vijayakanth) is aiming for an alliance to fetch a victory.”

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