After weeks of wrangling in seat-sharing talks with allies of the National Democratic Alliance, a final list of Lok Sabha seats was drawn up by the BJP leadership in Delhi and sent through the party’s State unit president, Pon Radhakrishnan, late on Tuesday night. He is expected to share it with the allies to get their concurrence.
Earlier in the day, Radhakrishnan had visited Delhi with a list after late night parleys with the PMK culminating in talks between the Vanniyar outfit’s senior leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss and the saffron party’s national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao.
After several deadlines to the PMK, the BJP was finally prepared to say ‘no’ to the Vanniyar outfit on its demand for a seat from its earlier announced list of 10 constituencies, said a senior BJP leader. “Now, things have almost been resolved,” he said.
A senior functionary of the BJP’s State unit told Express that his party has reworked the entire list of seat allotments.
“We worked out the new list on Tuesday night, and it is this list that has our leaders have presented in the meeting in Delhi. This list has the approval of all the allies. There has been change in the seats allotted to almost all the allies, including the DMDK. The list has been presented to the high command for its approval,” the functionary said.
Pon Radhakrishnan’s departure to Delhi was also preceded by a meeting of the party’s 15-member State election committee at the party’s headquarters at 7 am. The members were asked to give in writing their choice of candidates for the six constituencies allotted to the party so far, sources said.
Out of the eight seats, only six of them - Kanyakumari, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Nilgiris, Coimbatore and South Chennai - had been confirmed for the party.
Decision on four seats - Thanjavur, Karur, Nagapattinam and Vellore - which were to be equally divided between the saffron party and the PMK, was still pending, the sources pointed out.
Meanwhile, six candidates figure prominently in the list carried by the State BJP president, who would be contesting from Kanyakumari. The other leaders were H Raja (Sivaganga), D Kuppuramu (Ramanathapuram), S Gurumoorthy (Nilgiris-Reserved), C P Radhakrishnan (Coimbatore) and L Ganesan (South Chennai), sources said.
Of these candidates, two lesser known faces are Kuppuramu, who is the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Vibhag Sanghachalak (district president) of the RSS in Ramanathapuram, and Gurumoorthy, who was former president of the
State BJP Yuva Morcha. National secretary Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, who had hoped to contest from Sriperumbudur might not get the ticket this time, the sources added.
Whatever the outcome of the midnight talks with allies, the Tamil Nadu of the NDA will be born on Thursday, with BJP national president Rajnath Singh visiting Chennai to make a formal announcement.