AIADMK, CPI-M sign seat sharing pact

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 19, 2011 09:07 hrs

Chennai: After discussions that lasted past Friday midnight, the AIADMK agreed to let the Communist Party of India (CPI-M) contest from the 12 Tamil Nadu assembly seats the Marxists wanted.

"The talks went off well and we have got the 12 constituencies we wanted. Now our one-point agenda is to defeat the DMK in the (April 13) polls," CPI-M leader T.K. Rangarajan said.

The AIADMK, which has said that it had mistakenly released earlier the list of 160 constituencies it wanted to contest, is now holding talks with its biggest ally, the DMDK led by actor-politician Vijaykant.

The DMDK reportedly wants to field candidates in 41 of the 234 Tamil Nadu constituencies.

And contrary to earlier reports, it is learnt that the AIADMK is also talking to its oldest ally, the MDMK of Vaiko. It was earlier thought that the AIADMK had dumped Vaiko.

Trouble arose for AIADMK after it unilaterally released the list of constituencies it desired to contest even while discussions were on with allies on seat sharing.

Most parties in the AIADMK front were furious on seeing the list. The list included seats won by the Left in 2006 and those sought by Vijaykant.

Faced with the threat of its disgrunted allies forming a third front and eating into its vote share, the AIADMK Friday held further discussions with its electoral partners.

"The AIADMK says the earlier list was issued due to a mix-up," a CPI leader said.

On Friday evening, AIADMK leader and former chief minister J. Jayalalitha met leaders of the CPI, CPI-M, DMDK and other allies.

First to emerge from the meeting was the CPI team after securing its 10 constituencies.

The AIADMK has sewed up alliances for 74 of the 234 seats with 10 allies: DMDK (41), CPI-M (12), CPI (10), MNMK (3), PT (2), SMK (2), RPI (1), FB (1), KYF (1) and AIMMK (1). The MDMK could become its 11th ally.

The AIADMK will release a revised list of its candidates.

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