Deal done, PMK will contest 7 seats in TN
It was celebration time at AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence here on Saturday as her party finalised a seat-sharing agreement with the PMK for the May 13 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. MR Venkatesh reports.india Updated: Mar 29, 2009 01:18 IST
It was celebration time at AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence here on Saturday as her party finalised a seat-sharing agreement with the PMK for the May 13 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. The arrangement also meant the PMK had got its best poll deal so far.
Of the 40 seats at stake, including Puducherry, the PMK — as part of the AIADMK-led alliance — will contest seven seats, besides one Rajya Sabha seat in 2010.
The PMK has six seats in the outgoing Lok Sabha.
The allocation of the one Rajya Sabha seat will help Anbumani Ramadoss — who stepped down as Union Health Minister later in the evening and was the PMK’s best known face in Delhi — get re-elected to the Upper House when his term ends next year.
Emerging from a 45-minute meeting with PMK founder-leader Dr S. Ramadoss, Jayalalithaa said she was happy to announce the agreement reached between the two parties. This was their first meeting in eight years and came two days after the PMK’s special general council overwhelmingly decided to join the AIADMK-led alliance.
In a brief media interaction, Jayalalithaa referred to the “considered opinion of political analysts across the country that this is an unbeatable electoral combination”. She said: “I will rest here for now,” adding that the results would prove everything.
Dr Ramadoss referred to the AIADMK leader as “Anbu Sagodhari (beloved sister)” and said the alliance would sweep the polls, “winning all 40 seats”.
As AIADMK and PMK cadre burst crackers and distributed laddoos outside ‘Amma’s’ house, PMK president G.K. Mani held talks on identifying constituencies with the AIADMK team led by deputy leader in the assembly O. Pannerselvam.
The seven seats allocated to the PMK are Sriperumbudur, Tirunvannamalai, Kallakuruchi, Arakkonam, Chidambaram (reserved), Dharmapuri and Puducherry Union Territory seat. Barring the first three — two of which were carved out after delimitation — the PMK had contested the others in the 2004 polls and won.
In Delhi, Anbumani Ramadoss and his PMK colleague in the Cabinet R. Velu (Union Minister of State for Railways) met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and handed over their papers.
“Velu and myself have submitted our resignations from the Council of Ministers to the honourable Prime Minister,” Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters. “The Prime Minister said he will be forwarding the letters to the President with a heavy heart.” The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee played down the developments with its president K.V. Thankkabalu saying that the PMK’s exit from the DMK-led front wasn’t consequential to the fortunes of their alliance.