Chennai, June 12 (BPNS)
A day after Union Home Minister and senior leader of the BJP Amit Shah’s visit to Tamil Nadu, AIADMK leadership is for a detailed grass root discussion with the state unit of the BJP. Sources in the AIADMK told BPNS that the meeting is to discuss the number of seats to be contested by both the parties in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
While in the open, the BJP has claimed for contesting 25 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu of the total 39, the grapevine is that the saffron party would be satisfied in 11 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
This will lead to several senior AIADMK leaders contesting the polls and sources in the party told BPNS that the meeting would be held to start the ball rolling regarding the seats to be contested and strategy for each seat.
The BJP is also closely watching the moves of expelled AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister of the state, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) who is a force to reckon with in South Tamil Nadu, especially in Madurai, Theni, Tirunelveli districts.
Sources in the BJP told BPNS that the party is having secret parleys with OPS as he cannot be brushed aside in the electoral politics of South Tamil Nadu. OPS is a Thevar and the community is strong in many pockets of South Tamil Nadu. The former interim general secretary of the AIADMK and close aide of late Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa, V.K. Shashikala is also in the radar of the BJP. She is also a Thevar and like OPS holds clout in Southern districts of the state.
With the DMK already commenced its campaign targeting all the 40 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the AIADMK is calling up a meeting with the BJP to have a rough idea on the number of seats each party would contest.
Sources in the AIADMK told BPNS that the party top brass was unhappy over the statement of Amit Shah that the BJP would contest the 25 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and was strongly resented by all leaders including EPS.