CM in 1st list; DMK-Cong hit stalemate
- On the other hand, the DMK’s stalemate continued with its main and long standing ally, the Congress, on seat sharing.
The ruling AIADMK on Friday announced candidates for six constituencies for the upcoming assembly election, including those of chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam while the opposition DMK allocated six seats to the Communist Party of India (CPI), a day after it gave the same number to the VCK.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) announced that Edappadi Palaniswami will contest the Edappadi constituency in his home turf of Salem district, while deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam will contest Bodinayakanur. The two leaders are seeking re-election from the seats they won in the 2016 assembly elections.
The other names include fisheries minister D Jayakumar who will contest Royapuram and law minister CV Shanmugam from Villupuram. Former minister SP Shanmuganathan will contest Srivaikuntam and legislator S Thenmozhi has got the reserved constituency of Nilakottai.
The AIADMK is seeking a third consecutive term in these elections to be conducted in a single phase to 234 assembly seats on April 6.
The party late on Friday declared that the BJP will contest on 20 assembly seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat, where bypolls are due. It has also allotted 23 assembly seats to the PMK but is yet to reach a seat-sharing pact with the DMDK.
On Wednesday, former AIADMK interim general secretary V K Sasikala announced her decision to step aside from politics, a huge relief to the present AIADMK leadership of Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.
On the other hand, the DMK’s stalemate continued with its main and long standing ally, the Congress, on seat sharing. According to party leaders, state Congress chief KS Alagiri was upset at the DMK not offering an adequate number of seats.
“He was so upset with the way the DMK treated us in the first round of seat-sharing talks. When he brought up the question of the Congress’s self- respect, he couldn’t speak anymore and there was just silence in the room,” said a senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity.
“Then everyone rallied for him. Congress members spoke up saying we will all support the decision whether he wants to break up the alliance with the DMK or stay.”
The Congress sought more than 40 seats in the first round but the DMK offered 18, which later went up to 24.
“They’re also saying 27 now but all these are just floating figures, nothing is concrete,” said the Congress leader.
The DMK camp said the Congress had to understand that they were allotted 41 seats in the 2016 elections when there were fewer allies in the coalition.
“We have to accommodate seven parties now and if the Congress was seeking this for a Lok Sabha election, it would have been different. Since it’s an assembly election, the DMK wants to contest a high number of seats so that we have a comfortable majority,” said a DMK leader not wishing to be named.