The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu announced its alliance with PMK ahead of Lok Sabha polls likely in May. The announcement came hours before the scheduled visit of union minister and senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal to Chennai. The AIADMK and BJP have formalized the tie-up for the general elections.
The PMK would get eight seats; the constituencies would be announced later. In addition, the PMK has also been assured of a Rajya Sabha seat later this year. In return the PMK has committed support to the ruling AIADMK in the pending by-elections to 21 assembly seats in the state.
The PMK has placed a list of ten conditions before the AIADMK including the release of the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, exempting Tamil Nadu from NEET or the medical entrance exams, prohibition and shutting down of 500 government run liquor shops in phases.
In the 2014 polls, the PMK, which was part of the BJP alliance won just one of the seven seats they had contested and the ruling AIADMK had swept the polls, winning 37 of the 39 seats. With Prime Ministerial ambition, J Jayalalithaa, had made the 2014 elections a 'Modi versus Lady' battle in the state.
For long, the PMK has been working towards forming a non-DMK and AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu and has been strongly critical of the ruling AIADMK over corruption issues. It had even given detailed complaints to the Governor against the state government and many ministers.
Justifying the tie-up, the party in a statement said that only PMK could strongly raise issues of Tamil Nadu and its rights in parliament. The party also listed few programmes of the state government in synergy with it. However, PMK claimed that it will not compromise on it's core values.
The AIADMK and the BJP have formally announced the alliance for the general elections. The BJP will contest in five seats and will also support AIADMK candidates in the by-elections.
The PMK, known to join hands with the winning alliance, did hold talks with the DMK as well. This time the party is hopeful it's gamble will pay off after its alliances went wrong in the last two elections.