Tamil Nadu polls: BJP to decide first list of candidates today

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New Delhi, Mar 24: Deserted by former allies, BJP is cobbling together a new alliance with smaller parties in Tamil Nadu for the May 16 Assembly election and will decide its first list of candidates on Thursday, March 24.

The party, which has been a marginal player in Tamil Nadu, will decide the first list of its candidates today after its state election committee meets in Chennai, party's poll incharge for the state and Union minister, Prakash Javadekar said.

[Assembly Elections 2016: Know your state-- Tamil Nadu]

Tamil Nadu

"BJP, along with our friends, Indiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK), New Justice Party (NJP) and some other parties who are willing to come with us, is contesting (polls). Our election committee of the state will meet to finalise the candidates.

[BJP to use Modi govt's achievements as 'election weapon']

"We are going ahead with our campaign. Rumours were there or floating (that) BJP is contesting on its own and with its friends who are coming with us. Today, we are having election committee meeting and on Friday, the Tamil Nadu team will come to Delhi. First batch of tickets will be decided on Thursday," he said.

Underlining that every party has the right to have alliance, Javadekar said there is a "multi-cornered" contest for the May 16 Assembly polls this time which BJP welcomes.

[BJP manifesto for TN polls on March 31]

"As promised before, BJP is contesting under the BJP leadership and we are going ahead as BJP plus," he said, without naming any leaders.

Asked about BJP failing to keep Vijayakant's DMDK in its fold, Javadekar said, "In Lok Sabha, many parties came together. That time whole context was different. When there is a state election, every party has to take a call. Today we are going as BJP plus." [Veteran actor Vijayakumar joins BJP]

DMDK will contest 124 seats and the remaining 110 will be shared by PWF.

Vijayakant-led DMDK on Wednesday, March 23, struck an alliance with the four-party People's Welfare Front for the May 16 Assembly election with the actor-turned-politician being declared as the chief ministerial candidate of the tie-up.

As per the agreement between these parties, DMDK will contest 124 seats and the remaining 110 will be shared by PWF constituents -- MDMK, CPI(M), CPI and VCK.

[CVoter poll: AIADMK likely to win 116 seats, DMK 101, BJP 0 in TN]

Javadekar said, "People of Tamil Nadu love Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP has a clear-cut programme."

Questioning as to what the Dravidian parties did for Tamil Nadu, he said there is an alternative for the state as people are voting for BJP in numbers. "We will campaign vigorously," he said.

PTI

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