Chennai: Following the State government function on Saturday, EPS and OPS met Shah at his hotel and reportedly discussed the Assembly polls and other issues.
“Later, the Home Minister held a marathon meeting with his party leaders till 4 am on Sunday. In the meeting, it was decided that BJP should demand 40 seats in the AIADMK alliance. Shah also urged the State leaders to identify the constituencies favourable to them and to commence work in those areas,” said a State BJP leader on conditions of anonymity.
However, sources in the AIADMK clarified that the largest party in the State would not agree on allotting more than 25 seats to the BJP considering their dismal performance in earlier polls. “The issue of share in governance will be confirmed during election talks between the parties,” said an AIADMK leader.
The AIADMK-BJP alliance announcement came as a surprise for many as elections are six months away and the state BJP unit and the ruling AIADMK have been at loggerheads especially after L Murugan took over as the state BJP chief.
Political observers feel that Shah’s visit has indeed strengthened the ties between AIADMK and BJP. “The Home Minister’s visit has virtually cemented the ties between AIADMK and BJP and the relationship will not be severed even if disputes arise over the seat allotment. Both the parties will be ready to forgo a few for the sake of alliance,” said political analyst Raveenthran Duraisamy.
The political analyst added that unlike the Lok Sabha election and the by-election for 22 seats, the AIADMK will not accord the same priority given to PMK and other regional parties in the upcoming Assembly election. “The AIADMK will try to retain the same number of alliance partners,” he said.