BJP-AIADMK seat talks to continue today, BJP not to drive hard bargain

BJP-AIADMK seat talks to continue today, BJP not to drive hard bargain
Talks between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the AIADMK over seat-sharing for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections will continue on Tuesday. The BJP and AIADMK committees met on Monday evening and TNM spoke to two people who were privy to the developments during the meeting. The BJP is aiming to contest from 30 seats, though the party believes that AIADMK will allot them the same number of seats that it did to another alliance partner, the PMK. The AIADMK has already clinched its alliance with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which is contesting from 23 seats. "These 23 seats are consolidated around areas where Vanniyar voters are in majority. Though Vanniyars represent only 10 percent of the votebank, they form a considerable chunk of the votes that the PMK gets. The BJP thinks that if AIADMK goes by that logic, then we have increased our presence in many seats, even if we don't win all," a BJP source said. Sources say that the BJP believes that though it may not be fully winnable, it can increase their vote count by around 5,000 to 10,000 in these seats as they have consolidated many castes and communities in their vote bank.  A BJP leader who TNM spoke to said that the AIADMK wants to treat them at par with PMK, which means they may be given around 22 or 21 seats. When asked if BJP will agree to be treated at par with the PMK, sources within the BJP said that they do not want to upset the alliance and they want AIADMK to contest maximum seats as possible, so the number of seats will be decided on the basis of that. Sources indicated that the BJP will not drive a hard bargain and that they are likely to settle for around 22 seats.  On Tuesday, the number of seats that the BJP gets, and which these seats will be is likely to be finalised. BJP’s Kishen Reddy is expected to come to Chennai from Hyderabad and CT Ravi will be coming from Bengaluru and will be holding a meeting to finalise the seat share. Tamil Nadu goes to the polls on April 6 and the results will be announced on May 2. Also read: Tamil Nadu polls: DMK offers five seats to VCK, ally demands 10 ‘Our CM Vijayakant’: DMDK hints at contesting alone in TN polls

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