Chennai: BJP’s ally, the IJK, has announced its candidates for 42 Assembly constituencies and would field its nominees for three more seats soon. The IJK, which has been given 45 seats by the BJP, will contest from Virudhachalam, Neiveli, Tittakudi (SC), Palacode, Pappireddypatti, Natham, Vedachandur, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Maduravoyal, Maduranthakam, Krishnagiri, Madurai North, Poompuhar, Senthamangalam, Viralimalai, Kunnam, Pudukkottai, Alangudi, Aranthangi, Salem west, Athur, Veerapandi, Omalur, Edappadi, Sivaganga, Tiruppattur, Thiruvaiyaru, Vandavasi, Kalasapakkam, Nannilam, Lalgudi, Musiri, Thuraiyur, Katpadi, Gudiyatham, Kovilpatti, Mailam, Ulundurpet, Rishivandiyam, Sankarapuram and Kallakurichi. The BJP is also engaged in seat sharing talks with another ally, the Akila Indiya Makkal Kalvi Munnetra Kazhagam.
Meanwhile, in a surprising move, the New Justice Party (NJP) headed by A. C. Shanmugam, which had supported the BJP in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, appears to have walked out of the alliance. Mr. Shanmugam announced his party’s support to the political party that is keen on providing reservation in education and employment to the Mudaliars, Sengunthar, Agamudayar and Pillaimar, in this May 16 election.