CHENNAI: BJP’s State unit is likely to commence seat-sharing talks with the AIADMK in a day or two and according to sources, the party is expected to start the bargaining by demanding 30 per cent seats for the elections to urban local bodies.
“During the rural local body elections, we started the talks by demanding 30 per cent seats. This time too, we will do the same. There are four MLAs in the Assembly and each belongs to a district. We wish to seek four or five municipal corporations in those districts. We will ask for key seats where we are strong,” a senior BJP leader told TNIE. However, a senior leader in the AIADMK said the BJP is unlikely to get more than 10 per cent seats.
Talking to reporters at the BJP headquarters here, State election in-charge Pon Radhakrishnan said candidates would be finalised during the next two days after conducting interviews at the district level. State president K Annamalai would be announcing the list of candidates within two days and filing of nominations would begin after January 31.
On repeated questions about whether the alliance with the AIADMK would continue, Radhakrishnan said, “We have given powers to the party’s State president to take a final call on all issues.” Asked about the absence of BJP State legislature party leader Nainar Nagenthran who had made a caustic remark about AIADMK, Radhakrishnan sought to downplay it, saying meeting with all leaders was held through video conference too.
Earlier in the day, during the election management committee meeting attended by office-bearers at the State and district levels at the party headquarters, divergent views were shared about the BJP going it alone and continuing the alliance with the AIADMK.
Those who expressed their views in favour of the alliance with AIADMK were concerned about the party’s winnability in the elections and also, a split in the present alliance would go in favour of the ruling DMK since already, that party has a strong alliance. Those who argued in favour of going it alone were of the view that normally, the people would vote for the ruling party and its alliance in local body elections. As such, the BJP could prove its original vote share in this election. In some places, the party has more than 10 per cent vote share while in other places, it has five to six percent, they said.