Chennai, February 19: Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK on Tuesday sealed an electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. State's deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam said the AIADMK and BJP will contest Lok Sabha elections together in Tamil Nadu as well as Puducherry. "Of the 40 seats in these two states, the BJP will contest on five," he announced.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal also announced that the two parties will fight by-elections to 21 assembly seats in an alliance as well. "We will support AIADMK in the by-elections on 21 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu. We have agreed to contest elections in the leadership of Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and Panneerselvam in state and under the leadership of Narendra Modi Ji at the centre," Goyal said. BJP Government Approved Mekedatu Dam Project with Eye on Lok-Sabha Polls: AIADMK.
Earlier today, the AIADMK also managed to bring the PMK into the alliance. will support the AIADMK- BJP front in Tamil Nadu in the forthcoming general elections, the deputy chief minister said. The PMK will contest on six Lok Sabha seats and will be given one Rajya Sabha seat. The PMK, has a support base in northern Tamil Nadu, especially among the OBC Vanniyar community.
The AIADMK swept the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, winning 37 of the state's 39 seats. The BJP had won just one seat. Meanwhile, the Congress and DMK, which had aligned for the 2016 assembly polls, are taking forward the tie-up with some more parties, including MDMK and the Left slated to join the coalition.
In the 235-member assembly, the AIADMK has 115 members followed by the DMK with 88, Congress eight, one of the IUML, one independent, the speaker and 20 vacant seats (18 disqualified and two dead). Besides, there is a nominated member.