Chennai: The BJP on Thursday announced the formation of a six-party rainbow alliance for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, in its first-ever such electoral venture in the State where the turf has been largely dominated by the DMK and the AIADMK.
The announcement about the sealing of the alliance was made by BJP president Rajnath Singh who described it as a 'historic' moment for Tamil Nadu and also for the country as seven parties had come into NDA-fold.
Flanked by alliance partners, Rajnath Singh told a press conference in Chennai that out of the 39 seats, actor-politician Vijayakant's DMDK will fight for 14 seats while the PMK and the BJP will field candidates in eight constituencies each.
Vaiko's MDMK has been allotted seven seats while the IJK and the KMDK have been given one constituency each.
Local BJP leaders were all smiles as the month-long efforts and protracted negotiations in the wake of some of the allies insisting on particular seats fructified as the party seeks to return a sizeable number of MPs from the state towards achieving formation of a Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
Replicating the strategy of the two major Dravidian parties which have been taking up the emotive fishermen and Sri Lankan Tamils issue as a plank, Singh promised these were also on the “top priority” of his party.
“Their (fishermen) release will be our topmost priority and also protecting their livelihood,” he said.
Accusing the UPA of being responsible for the travails faced by Sri Lankan Tamils, he said “under UPA, India was not able to impress Sri Lanka to resolve Tamils issue. NDA will work to impress Sri Lanka as it is also in our security interest.” Singh's announcement of seat-sharing was made in the presence of actor turned politician Vijayakant, Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK), Vaiko, IJK's Pachamuthu and KMDK's Easwaran.
Soon after his arrival in Chennai, Rajnath Singh met with leaders of allies for nearly four hours, giving final touches to the alliance and also ironing out differences among the partners over certain seats.
He managed to convince the PMK to give up the claim on the Salem seat and accommodate the request by the DMDK.