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BJP Takes Regional Route to Combat United Opposition After Maharashtra and Bihar, the saffron party seals alliance in TN

February 20, 2019 05:57 AM

COUDRTESY ET FEB 20

BJP Takes Regional Route to Combat United Opposition
After Maharashtra and Bihar, the saffron party seals alliance in TN
RakeshMohan.Chaturvedi@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

With the opposition ganging up against BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the saffron party has adopted a pragmatic approach in stitching up alliances with regional parties and even playing second fiddle while doing so in a bid to retain power at the Centre.


Led by party chief Amit Shah, BJP brass has been working on this front for the past few weeks and the results are there to see.

The alliance with AIADMK and PMK in Tamil Nadu is the latest to be announced.

After reports that BJP may contest eight to 15 seats in the state, the agreement was reached that it will put up its candidates in only five of the 39 constituencies. The big catch for AIADMK and BJP is PMK, which was being wooed by DMK as well. PMK will contest in seven seats.

BJP does not have a significant political footprint in Tamil Nadu and won only one seat in 2014 despite the Modi wave. The alliance led by DMK with Congress as an ally is strong and NDA would be working at minimising the damage as AIADMK is not likely to repeat the last performance of 37 seats when the late Jayalalithaa was at the helm.

BJP also bowed to Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and though the agreement is of 25-23 seats, the former will have to accommodate RPI (A) from its share. The saffron party needed Shiv Sena after Congress-NCP finalised their seat sharing.

Tamil Nadu is the third state where BJP has given the regional partner an upper hand. In Bihar, BJP had to accept a 17-17 seat understanding with Nitish Kumar-led JDU and gave six seats (and a Rajya Sabha berth to Ram Vilas Paswan when there is a vacancy) to LJP.

A united opposition, a natural anti-incumbency of five years of NDA rule and an upbeat Congress after recent assembly election victories have all made the upcoming Lok Sabha poll battle a tough one for BJP. BJP is not only adjusting to the whims of regional parties, it is also giving its nod to a deal for the assembly elections where these parties have a higher stake.

Shiv Sena-BJP will fight on equal number of assembly seats in Maharashtra while BJP will support AIADMK in the 21 Assembly seat by-polls in Tamil Nadu.

Some tieups will depend on whether BJP is near pole position post-electio

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