The Tamil Nadu unit of BJP on Thursday was still unable to formally announce that it had completed seat sharing talks with the PMK. This extended limbo has left the DMDK in a tight spot and is waiting for the formal induction of PMK into the BJP fold to go ahead with the announcement of its candidates.
The wait has begun to cause discomfort within the DMDK as party chief Vijayakant is set kick off his poll campaign on Friday afternoon. According to well-placed sources in the BJP, the talks with the PMK continue to hang on disagreements on one or two points. Significant among them is the PMK’s insistence on contesting in the Arani constituency. But the BJP is unable to allot the seat to the Vanniyar outfit as it has already been allotted to the DMDK. “We are confident of finishing the talks and reaching an agreement by tonight,” the BJP source told Express. However, previous assurances of this nature from different parties in the BJP front have been dashed by the elusiveness of an agreement with PMK.
If the BJP does manage to sort things out by Friday morning, it would be just the sort of news that the DMDK would be looking forward to. “We are waiting for them to finish the talks so we can announce our candidate list. Our position is that the candidate list could be released by Friday afternoon. This will allow our leader to present the candidates when he campaigns in three constituencies,” said a senior DMDK functionary. He added that in the event talks between the BJP and PMK remain inconclusive, the DMDK high command would have to decide its course of action on Friday morning.
Another DMDK source said the reason the DMDK was holding out on announcing its candidates was to maintain its authority to demand more from the BJP if the BJP-PMK talks break down and PMK decides not to break ties.