In a massive political development just weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, sources have told Repulic TV that the BJP, after confirming an alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, is set to join hands with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu for the upcoming elections.
BJP President Amit Shah and Railways & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal will fly to the southern state on Tuesday. It is expected that they will hold talks with the present ruling party in the state and announce an alliance. This comes after Goyal had visited Chennai and met state CM Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam last Thursday.
With the elections just round the corner, the BJP is planning to ally with regional parties in order to boost its chances of staying in power. On Monday, they set aside the differences with the Shiv Sena and joined hands with them for not just the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, but also the state elections later this year.
"Everyone knows that Shiv Sena and BJP have been together for 25 years. We may have differences, but ideologically we are together. For last four and a half years, we have been running the government together. There was popular sentiment that nationalist parties should come together, and we have decided to form an alliance for both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections," Maharashtra CM Devednra Fadnavis said in the presence of Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The decision to join hands with AIADMK could provide BJP with a chance to challenge their national rivals Congress, who have already formed an alliance with AIADMK's premier rival DMK.
The coming together of Rahul Gandhi and MK Stalin has seen them gain a huge advantage, at least in terms of the opinion polls. Almost all the opinion polls have suggested that the Congress-DMK alliance will dominate Tamil Nadu in the upcoming polls, hence, the BJP getting support of AIADMK becomes ever so crucial for them.
In the 2014 elections, the AIADMK had won 37 of the 39 seats, with the BJP winnng one and Pattali Makkal Katchi winning another.