Millennium Post

Modi to address 2 election rallies in TN by March: Source

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two election rallies in Kanyakumari and Chennai of Tamil Nadu by March. However, the PMO is yet to finalise the dates, a party source told the Millennium Post.

Earlier this month, PM Modi flagged off several developmental projects in the state. During his first visit in Tamil Nadu after the presentation of the Interim Budget for 2019-20, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of a 100-bed Employees State Insurance Corp (ESIC) health facility in Tirupur, which is a major export centre for knitted garments. He further laid the foundation stones for a new integrated building at Trichy Airport and modernization of Chennai airport via video conference.

Modi also inaugurated crude oil pipeline from Chennai Port to Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd's (CPCL) Manali Refinery. Adding the passenger service on the 10-km section of the Chennai Metro Rail -- AG-DMS Metro station to Washermenpet Metro station -- was flagged off by him.

Meanwhile, the saffron party feels that the alliance of BJP-AIADM-PMK could have a larger impact on the vote share. A senior party leader said, "AIADMK is an old friend. This alliance will not only boost the confidence of the party workers but will help to increase the vote share to 15 per cent."

The experts also feel that the team led by AIADMK could brighten its prospects in various parts of the state. Especially joining hands with Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) might play a big role. Apart from the BJP and PMK, DMDK, the Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) and the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) are also said to be the part of the alliance. From Tiruvallur to Kancheepuram, Vellore to Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram to Cuddalore, the presence of the PMK can make a significant difference, as per the data of 2016 Assembly elections. In two of the Chennai constituencies - South and Central, the BJP has more influence than others. As for the DMDK, its strength in Cuddalore would supplement that of the alliance, even though the PMK is stronger there.

Besides, the inclusion of regional parties can influence more 11.14 per cent vote share to the alliance. According to the data, in the northern part of the state, there are 14 Lok Sabha seats and the regional parties bagged collectively 14.2 per cent votes in the last Assembly elections. On the other hand, the southern part there are 10 Lok Sabha seats and the small regional parties gained 7.9 per cent vote in 2016 Assembly election. In the central part there are 6 and in the western part, there are seven Lok Sabha seats, where the rainbow alliance could gain more than 5 per cent vote share.

The PMK, led by S Ramadoss, has a support base in northern Tamil Nadu, especially among the OBC Vanniyar community. In successive Lok Sabha elections since 1999, the party has polled 5-10 per cent votes in the state.

BJP had been assigned five of the state's 39 parliamentary seats - Puducherry adds one more seat. The PMK will contest on seven Lok Sabha seats and will be given one Rajya Sabha seat.

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