After Shiv Sena, BJP set to seal alliance with AIADMK as Amit Shah heads to Tamil Nadu

BJP chief Amit Shah is set to arrive in Tamil Nadu capital Chennai on Tuesday.

After Shiv Sena, BJP set to seal alliance with AIADMK as Amit Shah heads to Tamil Nadu

NEW DELHI: A day after sealing an alliance with its estranged ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the BJP is expected to enter an electoral alliance with Tamil Nadu's ruling party AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kuzhagam) for the fast-approaching Lok Sabha elections 2019.

According to reports, BJP chief Amit Shah is set to arrive in Chennai on Tuesday during which he is expected to seal an alliance with AIADMK and half a dozen other political parties.

The BJP top brass had held the first round of talks with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK joint-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami last week.

After his arrival in Chennai, the BJP national president is expected to strike a seat-sharing deal on Tuesday itself – taking forward his party's ambitious plans to make inroads in southern India politics.

Shah will hold a series of talks with Tamil Nadu BJP leaders before speaking to the leaders of the AIADMK and other alliance parties. This would be followed by a media conference in the evening along with the AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and CM Palaniswami, reports suggest.

It is believed that the BJP had initially sought a 20-20 share for the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry, but has now settled for 15 seats, leaving the remaining 25 for AIADMK. 

Out of the 15, the BJP is expected to field candidates on eight seats and leave the remaining for other regional alliance partners - like Vijayakanth’s DMDK, Anbumani Ramadoss’s PMK and Puthiya Thamizhagam among others.

The BJP-AIADMK alliance, if finalised, will be of huge significance for the saffron party since it has long struggled to make its presence felt in southern India. 

Barring Karnataka, the national party has been unsuccessful in leaving a political footprint in the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Its tie-up with the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh helped the BJP win just two seats out of 25 in the 2014 general election -  and those ties too have severed now. 

In Telangana again, it has just one MP out of the 17 seats. It has no MP in Kerala. 

On Monday, ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena, whose relations have been strained for quite some time, announced a tie-up for the coming Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections.

The BJP will contest 25 seats and Shiv Sena 23 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, as per the deal.

The two parties will contest an equal number of seats, along with their other allies, in elections for the 288-member state Assembly, due this year.

In a joint press conference with BJP chief Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said public sentiment was that the two parties should come together.

The BJP and Sena alliance will win at least 45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, Shah said.

Crores of workers of BJP and Shiv Sena wanted the alliance between the two parties, Shah said.

The Sena is the oldest ally of BJP, he added.