General Elections 2024: Tamil Nadu to go to polls in first phase on April 19

The last date for filing nomination is March 27 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is March 30.
General Elections 2024: Tamil Nadu to go to polls in first phase on April 19
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The Election Commission of India on Saturday, March 16, announced the dates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In Tamil Nadu, the polls will be held on April 19, as part of the first phase and the results for the entire nation will come on June 4. The elections are to be held in seven phases across India. The last date for filing nomination is March 27 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is March 30.

As announcements of alliances pour in, Tamil Nadu appears to be heading for a four-way fight. So far, it appears that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), along with their allies are set to contest against each other. Here’s a list of the alliances that have been announced until now. 

DMK and allies for 2024 general elections

The DMK has stuck with almost all of its allies from the 2019 polls including the Congress, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), Communist Party of India (CPI), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK). In a surprise move, Kamal Hassan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), which claimed to provide an alternative to Dravidian parties in the state when it was founded in 2018, has also chosen to ally with the DMK. Meanwhile, the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK), who had partnered with the DMK previously, has now joined the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA). 

Congress, the DMK’s chief ally, will fight from nine constituencies in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry. The Congress will be contesting from Tiruvallur, Krishnagiri, Arani, Tiruchirapalli, Karur, Theni, Virudhunagar, Kanyakumari, and Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu and the lone Puducherry seat. In the 2019 polls, the Congress had contested and won in all of the same constituencies except Theni, where P Ravindhranath Kumar, the son of former AIADMK leader O Paneerselvam (OPS), won the only National Democratic Alliance (NDA) seat in Tamil Nadu.

The VCK will be fighting from two constituencies – Villupuram and Chidambaram, both of which are reserved constituencies. 

The CPI has been allocated two seats–Tiruppur and Nagai in Tamil Nadu.  Similarly, the CPI(M) will also contest in two constituencies – Madurai and Dindigul. The KMDK will contest from Namakkal and the IUML from Ramanathapuram. Which constituency the MDMK will contest from is yet to be decided. While MNM has been given only one Rajya Sabha ticket, the party has promised to campaign across all 40 constituencies for the DMK. 

AIADMK and allies for 2024 general elections

Significantly, this time, the AIADMK has decided not to fight the elections with its traditional ally, the BJP. After a series of very public spats between both parties in the state, the AIADMK officially pulled out of the NDA in September last year. So far, the party has been officially maintaining its stance that there is no possibility of going back to its alliance with the BJP. This will also be the first election in which Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) will be contesting after becoming the AIADMK’s general secretary. 

So far, the party has allied with the Puratchi Bharatham (one seat) and All India Forward Bloc (AIFB). The BJP’s former partner in the state, Puthiya Tamilagam (PT) also announced its alliance with the AIADMK earlier this month. 

Seat-sharing and the list of constituencies allocated to the AIFB and PT are yet to be announced. 

BJP and allies for 2024 general elections

With the AIADMK gone, the BJP has been bolstering connections with other regional parties. TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) announced its alliance with the BJP earlier this week. While seat-sharing between both parties is yet to be finalised, AMMK pledged its “unconditional support” to the NDA. Meanwhile, the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) has also allied with the BJP as it did in 2019. 

On March 12, actor and politician Sarath Kumar disbanded his All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) and merged the party with the BJP. It is unclear at present whether he will be contesting the elections himself and if so, where he is likely to stand from. 

While talks are reported to be ongoing between the saffron party and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), no official announcement has been made yet. 

NTK and other regional parties

Seeman’s NTK has emerged so far as the fourth side to fight the 2024 general elections in Tamil Nadu. The party has maintained that it will contest alone in all 39 seats in the state. The late Vijayakant’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) has still not made official announcements regarding possible alliances. Meanwhile, actor Vijay’s newly formed Tamilaga Vetri Kazhagam (TVK) has said that it will not contest the elections this year. 

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