Finally, after episodes of hectic parleys and negotiations, the Tamil Nadu ruling ADMK party has inked a deal with BJP over seat-sharing given a significant place for the Central ruling party in the state for the upcoming assembly polls. The development has come hours after the ADMK party has released its first list of candidates.
ADMK had a tough round of talks with the BJP in balancing its allegiance to the Central ruling party and convincing it to accept the seats offered. The talks between the allied parties were in place for nearly a week with Union Home Minister Amit Shah directly leading the party's negotiations and monitoring the talks through the state BJP leaders. BJP had begun its talks by demanding over 30 seats for the party.
While the state ruling ADMK has been planning to contest in 170 constituencies, it was ready to accept BJP's demand and tried to convince the Central ruling party to settle for 20-22 seats by citing that it has to accommodate the rest of the parties in the alliance. However, both parties didn't find a place for immediate consensus and kept unfolding the drama. After hectic parleys and talks, ADMK and BJP had inked a deal on the night hours of Friday.
According to reports, ADMK had sealed a deal by agreeing to offer 20 seats and a Lok Sabha constituency to BJP in the upcoming polls. It has been expected that BJP will demand the ADMK to provide 20 constituencies as per its wish and the Central ruling party will likely field the candidates in some of the constituencies in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, and Kanyakumari districts. Along with 20 assembly seats, BJP has also got the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat, where a by-poll will be held during the assembly polls.
ADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam, joint coordinator Edappadi Palaniswami, BJP National Secretary and Tamil Nadu in-charge CT Ravi, and BJP state President L Murugan had signed the deal and released it on Friday. The reports say that the deal was delayed due to disagreement arose between ADMK and BJP over sharing some of the constituencies in the western (Kongu) belt of the state, where some of the current leaders of ADMK have a stronghold.
In the agreement, ADMK said that it will extend full cooperation in all the 20 constituencies to be fought by the BJP in the assembly and by-poll. The political observers say that the deal has come in a significant fashion for the BJP to enhance its party's base in Tamil Nadu on the back of ADMK. BJP is strongly determined to send at least one representative to the state assembly, which the party had never entered. Finding prospects in the absence of political giants Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, BJP hopes to have a political breakthrough.
On the other hand, the reports say that though ADMK won in the battle of convincing BJP to accept 20 seats than what it had demanded, the state ruling party has to brace up the risk and debacles through BJP as the Central ruling party doesn't have a potential vote base in the state. By restricting BJP for 20 seats, ADMK had also won in keeping PMK as the major stakeholder in the alliance. Earlier, ADMK had allotted 23 seats for PMK and as ADMK had inked with BJP, the state ruling party has also a major challenge ahead- reaching a deal with Vijayakanth's DMDK.
BJP had contested in an alliance with the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi in the 2016 assembly polls and it had got 2.8% of votes while in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Central ruling party had joined the ADMK alliance and contested in five parliamentary constituencies. However, the alliance had eventually got a drastic defeat and won only one parliamentary seat against 39, which displayed how the state is strongly opposing BJP and its propaganda.
In two years, the ADMK had again given 20 assembly seats to BJP for the upcoming assembly polls. At the current state, ADMK has 191 seats in its hand out of the total numbers of 234 after allocating 23 seats to PMK and 20 seats to BJP. Out of these 191 seats, ADMK is planning to contest 170 seats directly and the party will be pushed to accommodate other allied parties like DMDK, New Justice Party, and Puthiya Thamilagam in the rest 21 seats. The state is exactly one month away from the polls and the parties will come to the climax of reaching the deal within March 10. Let's take a look at the election schedule in Tamil Nadu.
- Single-phase election for all the 234 constituencies
- Issue of Notification - March 12th, 2021.
- Last date of nomination - March 19th, 2021.
- Last date of scrutiny - March 20th, 2021.
- Last date for withdrawing nomination - March 22nd, 2021
- Date of Election - April 6th, 2021.
- Date of counting - May 2nd, 2021, during which the winner will be declared.