DMDK will field candidates in 14 seats, the PMK and the BJP eight each, MDMK seven and the IJK and the KMDK one each
After a week of hectic parleys during which strong posturing by allies threatened to derail the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu, the Bharatiya Janata Party finally clinched an electoral deal with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) on Thursday.
Announcing the alliance at a press conference here, BJP president Rajnath Singh predicted that the “formidable” third front the BJP formed would win “a minimum of 25 seats” in the State.
“Opinion surveys have already placed the BJP well ahead of the Congress in Tamil Nadu. With the help of our allies, we are certain to win a minimum of 25 seats …”
Leaders of the allies — Vijayakant of the DMDK, Anbumani Ramadoss of the PMK and Vaiko of the MDMK — shared the stage with Mr. Singh.
However, the buzz was about the absence of PMK founder S. Ramadoss, who on Saturday took a critical stand on the way the seat-sharing talks progressed.
Mr. Singh said the DMDK was allotted 14 seats. The BJP and the PMK would contest in eight constituencies each and the MDMK in seven. The remaining two of the 39 seats were allotted to the IJK and the Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi.
The lone seat in Puducherry had been given to the AINRC led by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy. However, the PMK continues to stake claim for this constituency.
Mr. Singh said the NDA attracted more allies as the elections neared.
People across the country wanted to see an NDA government with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
He said the Congress-led UPA government mishandled the fishermen issue in Tamil Nadu. If voted to power, the BJP and Mr. Modi would secure the release of all Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan jails and persuade Colombo to ensure the rights of Tamils in the island nation.
Following is the seat-sharing agreement announced by Mr. Singh:
DMDK: Tiruvallur (SC), Central Chennai, North Chennai, Villupuram (SC), Kallakurichi, Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Dindigul, Tiruchirappalli, Cuddalore, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Tiruppur.
BJP: South Chennai, Vellore, Nilagiri (SC), Coimbatore, Tanjavur, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Kanyakumari.
PMK: Arakkonam, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Arani, Chidambaram (SC) Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvannamalai, Nagapattinam (SC).
MDMK: Kancheepuram (SC), Erode, Theni, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Sriperumbudur, Tenkasi (SC).