The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam late on March 5 left only 20 seats for the alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, for the coming Assembly election for Tamil Nadu.
Besides, the Lok Sabha seat of Kanniyakumari, where the by-poll would be held on April 6, has gone to the BJP. The seat has got vacated after the death of the Congress MP Vasanthakumar.
The allotment of just 20 seats to the saffron party in Tamil Nadu has come as a setback to the latter, which has lost much of its bargaining position in the state after the rout of the AIADMK-BJP alliance in 2019 parliamentary polls. The NDA could win only one out of 39 seats. Incidentally, the BJP which had then contested on five seats drew blank and the Narendra Modi factor did not work at all in the state.
Thus, the BJP has been left with just 20 seats, that is three less than the PMK, a regional party. The saffron party had been demanding well above 30 seats, at least more than the PMK.
The AIADMK has also announced the names of six of its first candidates. This includes chief minister E Palaniswami, who will be contesting from Edappadi constituency and his deputy O Panneerselvam, from Bodinayakanur.
The announcement was jointly made by E Palaniswami, O Panneerselvam, BJP state in-charge CT Ravi and its state unit chief L Murugan.
The 234-member Assembly will go to poll on April 6 for the first time after the death of AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa and DMK’s Karunanidhi—the two stalwarts of Tamil politics.