February 20, 2019
Chennai : Tamil Nadu will be witnessing the fight of two alliances, each led by a Dravidian major. Opposition DMK led coalition will take on the AIADMK led alliance that has the BJP and PMK in it.
The line up became clear after the Congress and the DMK inked their seat sharing agreement under which the Congress gets to fight nine seats and Puducherry and the DMK will be fighting in the rest, after giving away few seats to other partners like the Left and the smaller parties like IUML.
Talks between the Congress and the DMK concluded in Delhi on Tuesday. From the DMK side, Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha member and sister of DMK party chief MK Stalin, participated in the seat sharing discussions and AICC president Rahul Gandhi. Talks were held at Rahul Gandhi’s residence on Tuesday evening.
“We are happy with the number of seats that we have got”, TNCC president KS Alagiri told media persons. Although he did fight shy of giving out the exact numbers, but Congress sources confirmed that it was getting nine seats to contest in TN. It will be a formidable alliance and be winning most of the 40 seats, Congress leaders said citing the double anti-incumbency the ruling coalition faced.
Besides, there was an anti-BJP sentiment on the ground, which could pose a bigger challenge to the ruling coalition that was anticipated.
For the record, the PMK did try and get assurances from then AIADMK on Tamil Nadu specific issues before entering into a coalition arrangement in which the BJP is also present.
On Tuesday, the BJP and AIADMK also signed the poll pact under which the BJP will fight in five seats and the PMK in seven. The AIADMK will fight the bulk of the remaining seats after allotting a couple to the smaller parties in the alliance it leads.
Now the stage is set for the battle of alliances in Tamil Nadu.
Leaders are already in a poll mode. General elections are expected to be announced in a couple of weeks and they have to be held in time to elect the new Lok Sabha that leads to the formation of a new government. The term of the Modi led NDA government comes to a close on May 16.