Tamil Nadu political parties form alliances ahead of the Assembly elections
TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) on March 10 released the first list of 15 candidates for its upcoming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
Former MLA S Anbazhagan will contest from Rasipuram (Reserve) constituency, while former ministers P Palaniyappan, G Senthamizhan and C Shanmugavelu will contest from Paapireddipatti, Saidapet and Madathukulam constituencies respectively.
M Rengasamy, NG Parthiban and RR Murugan, who were part of the 18 disqualified MLAs by the speaker for indulging in anti-party activities, have been given seats to contest from Paapansam, Sholingar, and Harur constituencies respectively.
Other nominees include KK Umadevan (Tiruppatur), R Manoharan (Srirangam), SK Selvam (Veerapandi), I Mahendran (Usilampatti), R Duraisamy (Coimbatore, South), K Sugumar (Pollachi), DK Rajendran (Dharmapuri) and KSK Balamurugan (Bhuvanagiri).
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday announced an alliance with the AMMK. According to Owaisi, AIMIM will contest three seats – Vaniyambadi, Krishnagiri and Sankarapuram – in the polls as part of the alliance.
With the race to the Assembly elections heating up in Tamil Nadu, political parties are scuttling to decide alliances and seat-sharing talks in the midst of which there are old allies parting ways and new allies joining hands. The battle for Tamil Nadu has witnessed a change over the past few months, with the spotlight moving from being solely on the Dravidian parties All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and their alliances to an emerging third-front led by Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maim (MNM) that could potentially create a dent to these two big regional powers.
The DMK has completed seat-sharing discussions with its allies. Portraying BJP as their central opponent, the MK Stalin-led party brings together Congress, CPI, CPI (M), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK).
On March 5, the DMK signed the seat-sharing agreement with the CPI allotting the left party with six seats, and on March 6, the CPM was allotted the same number. Stalin signed the agreement with CPI state secretary R Mutharasan and CPM state general secretary K Balakrishnan. On the other hand, MDMK gained six seats as well, and Stalin signed the agreement with the party’s general secretary Vaiyapuri Gopalsamy (better known as Vaiko) on March 6. DMK had decided, earlier last week, on the seat-sharing with IUML and the MMK allotting them three and two seats respectively.
Meanwhile, after a long negotiation, Stalin finally gave way and agreed to let the Congress contest in 25 seats, from the earlier agreed 21. Moreover, the latter would also field their candidate for the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha bypoll.
AIADMK’s alliance with Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) allows the latter to field candidates from 23 constituencies under the alliance. Meanwhile, AIADMK allotted 20 seats to NDA ally BJP along with the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency where the saffron party hopes to field Pon Radhakrishnan.
However, former AIADMK ally All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi has decided to opt-out of the alliance and has joined hands with MNM. Captain' Vijaykanth's DMDK has decided to pull out of the AIADMK-led NDA alliance ahead of Assembly elections in the state too. DMDK's move to split with NDA comes after multiple rounds of seat-sharing talks between DMDK and AIADMK remained indecisive.
MNM in the meantime has finalized its seat-sharing pact with allies All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) and Indhiya Janayaga Katchi (IJK). MNM allotted 40 seats each to Sarath Kumar's AISMK and Paarivendhar's IJK while allotting itself 154 seats. Meanwhile, DMDK was reportedly invited to join the third front after its exit from NDA.
Elections to the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly will be held on April 6 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2.