Would An AIADMK-BJP Alliance Have Won Some Seats In Tamil Nadu?

S Rajesh

Jun 10, 2024, 02:51 PM | Updated 03:18 PM IST

K Annamalai and Edappadi Palaniswami, right.
K Annamalai and Edappadi Palaniswami, right.
  • Amidst speculation questions linger over whether AIADMK-BJP partnership could have swayed Tamil Nadu's electoral dynamics.
  • After the results of the 2024 general elections in which the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led alliance registered a clean sweep in Tamil Nadu, analysts and detractors of K Annamalai have started asking if an alliance between the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would have been able to garner some seats and prevent the clean sweep.

    The issue also gained more currency after statements by two senior leaders, S P Velumani of the AIADMK and Tamilisai Soundararajan of the BJP saying that the alliance would have done better. 

    Later, AIADMK organising secretary D Jayakumar said that it was Velumani’s personal opinion and not that of the party. Days later, Edappadi Palaniswami too ruled out the possibility of an alliance.

    Velumani had said that if Annamalai had not spoken what he did, ie, referring to former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s conviction in a disproportionate assets case and his comments about what allegedly transpired between Muthuramalinga Thevar and former chief minister C N Annadurai, the alliance would have remained intact and it would have won 30-35 seats.

    Annamalai, who is known not to be in favour of an alliance, said, “The AIADMK could not win even a single seat. How could that party have won 35 seats in alliance? Velumani’s remarks indicate that there is an intra-party wrangling between him and Palaniswami. In this election, the Tamil Nadu people have rejected the AIADMK.”

    Political commentators shared posts on X (formerly Twitter) saying that so and so number of seats could have been won if the two parties were in alliance. 

    Some of such posts can be seen here and here

    Their argument is based on a simple addition of the number of votes each party got by contesting alone. One of the estimates is that an alliance of the two parties (including their alliance partners DMDK and PMK) could have won 13 seats — Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Arani, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Salem, Namakkal, Tirupur, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Virudhunagar and Tenkasi. But the bulk of them, ie, except Coimbatore and Dharmapuri, would have gone to the AIADMK or the DMDK.

    Some of them also said that such an alliance would have played a crucial role now that the BJP has not got a majority on its own. They say due to the alliance, the BJP would have a few more MPs and the AIADMK would have got some cabinet berths, instead of both parties not getting anything.

    But the question to be asked is that if the two parties were really in an alliance, would they have been able to win a considerable number of seats or get the number of votes that they did.

    Those against an alliance within the BJP, say that vote transfer between the two parties is not good, especially from the AIADMK to the BJP and ask if the party workers would have worked together after the kind of remarks made, especially those made by Jayakumar about Annamalai. 

    Further, they feel that the AIADMK would neither give the BJP a good number of seats nor the seats of their choice. Another angle put forth by them is that in the case of an alliance, it is the AIADMK that stands to benefit more than the BJP. 

    Those in favour of an alliance say that it would ensure that the anti-DMK votes are not split and that the issue of vote transfer is not an issue in every constituency. They say that the main focus should be to defeat the DMK and therefore having an alliance is better.

    Is An Alliance Possible Soon?

    An alliance at this moment is unlikely to happen due to the feelings of the cadre. Jayakumar, as mentioned above, has also stated that an alliance is not on the cards. Even among BJP supporters, there is criticism of Soundararajan’s remarks.

    While the BJP will try to find ways to increase its vote share, the AIADMK will investigate what has led to its steep decline.

    Both parties would start preparing for 2026 as the task ahead is indeed steep — an assembly segment wise analysis of the Lok Sabha results, has shown that the DMK-alliance was leading in 222 of the state’s 234 assembly seats.

    Also Read: How Did The DMK-Led Alliance Win A Clean Sweep In Tamil Nadu In Spite Of Anti-Incumbency And Corruption Allegations?

    S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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