Saturday, March 19, 2011

AIADMK working out patch-up formula with allies


2011-03-19 02:38:10

Chennai: Tamil Nadu's major opposition party AIADMK on Friday inked seat sharing deals with seven of its allies and also held marathon discussions with other allies upset at the party's declaration of 160 constituencies for the polls.

AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa met the leaders of MNMK, SMK, AIMMK, RPI, TNKYF, Communist Party of India (CPI) and FB and finalised 19 seats for the allies in the April 13 assembly elections.

"We had identified the list of constituencies and it was agreed to," CPI's State Secretary D. Pandian told IANS late Friday night.

According to him, leaders of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and DMDK are discussing with Jayalalithaa on sharing of constituencies.

Faced with the prospect of its major allies - the two left parties, DMDK and other - not only breaking away but also teaming up and opposing the party, the AIADMK leadership was in a conciliatory mood and decided to reconsider its earlier decision to contest 160 of the 234 seats at stake in the assembly elections.

It is also learnt the AIADMK is willing to accommodate the Vaiko-led MDMK by offering it 15 seats, up from nine offered earlier.

Queried about AIADMK's offer, an MDMK official told IANS that the party would decide its course of action March 19 at its district secretaries' meeting.

It was a day of hectic consultations between the leaders of AIADMK and its allies. The AIADMK's leaders met the leaders of CPI, CPI-M, DMDK and other allies to arrive at a solution.

"The AIADMK is saying the list 160 constituencies was issued owing to some mix-up," a CPI leader told IANS.

Later in the evening Jayalalithaa met the leaders of CPI, CPI-M, DMDK and other allies at her Poes Garden residence and held marathon discussions with them to work out a revised constituency sharing formula.

First to emerge after the long session late Friday night was the CPI team while talks with other two parties - CPI-M and DMDK - continued.

The DMDK team led by its presidium chairman Panruti S. Ramachandran gave Jayalalithaa its constituency wish list.

Trouble arose for AIADMK after it Wednesday unilaterally released the list of constituencies it would contest even while discussions were going on with allies on the seats the AIADMK would cede to them to contest.

Most of the parties in the AIADMK front were furious Thursday on seeing the list.

The AIADMK list included many seats currently held by the Left parties and also those requested by them and other allies like the DMDK, led by actor-turned-politician Vijayakant.

Most upset in the alliance were the DMDK, the CPI-M, CPI, MMK and the Forward Bloc (FB).

The leaders say the AIADMK had no business announcing which 160 seats it would contest when discussions on seat sharing were still on.

On Thursday, leaders of the Left and some smaller parties met here amid indications that at least a few of them favoured forming a Third Front to take on both the AIADMK and the ruling DMK.

The AIADMK had said it decided to contest 160 seats, leaving the remaining 74 for its 10 allies: DMDK (41), CPI-M (12), CPI (10), MNMK (3), PT (2), SMK (2), RPI (1), FB (1), KYF (1) and AIMMK (1).

With the announcement, the AIADMK had dumped its long-time ally, the MDMK which also upset the allies

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