BJP hopeful of keeping the NDA intact till 2026 Tamil Nadu Assembly election 

Published - June 17, 2024 12:11 am IST - CHENNAI

With the BJP deciding to back PMK’s candidate C. Anbumani in the byelection to the Vikaravandi Assembly constituency, slated for July 10, the focus is on whether the NDA – which polled about 18% of the votes in the 2024 Lok Sabha election – would remain intact for the 2026 Tamil Nadu Assembly election.

Recently, PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss had said that his party wanted to form a ‘coalition government’ in Tamil Nadu, without the support of the DMK and the AIADMK. BJP State president K. Annamalai too spoke on the same lines after the Lok Sabha election results were declared.

PMK’s senior leaders maintain that the decision to field Mr. Anbumani was a “strategy meant for the bypoll”. “We have a strong base in Vikravandi. Who will the voters of the AIADMK [which has decided to boycott the byelection] vote for? I don’t think they will vote for the DMK. We expect the AIADMK votes to come to us. We will put up a strong fight,” a PMK leader said.

“The PMK continues to be with the NDA and this is our decision for this byelection. As for the future, we will take a call later,” a PMK leader said, in response to a question on the possibility of the NDA remaining unchanged till 2026.

The BJP, which endeavours to project its alliance as the alternative to the two Dravidian majors, is hopeful of keeping its political formation intact. Its state vice president, Narayanan Thirupathy, said, “The people of Tamil Nadu are unhappy with the ruling DMK government due to its maladministration. The deteriorating law and order and rising unemployment are major causes of concern for the people. Besides, despite having over 60 MLAs in the Assembly, the AIADMK failed to perform its duty as the principal Opposition party. The people have forgotten the AIADMK and found the BJP as the alternative.”

Mr. Thirupathy further said that while the DMK and the AIADMK occupied the top two positions in Tamil Nadu, the situation has changed. “The NDA had pushed the AIADMK to the third spot in nearly 80 Assembly segments in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Our alliance will remain intact, and we will face the 2026 Assembly election together to defeat the Dravidian majors,” he said.

Though Dr. Anbumani had earlier said that the PMK would be a part of a coalition government, it will, depend on whether Mr. Annamalai would be open to having the PMK leader as the NDA’s Chief Ministerial candidate. These are issues that may be taken up for 2026, but as of now, the PMK continues to be a part of the NDA.

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