AIADMK in seat-sharing deal with Muslim party

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CHENNAI - Tamil Nadu’s main opposition AIADMK Sunday concluded a seat-sharing agreement with the MNMK, a party supported by Muslims, for the ensuing assembly polls and also held talks with the Communist Party of India (CPI) on the issue.

AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa met MNMK’s M.H. Jawahirullah at her residence and signed the deal allotting three seats to the party.

With this agreement, the AIADMK has inked pacts for seven seats with four parties.

The other three parties are the PT, the AIMMK and the Republican Party of India (RPI).

The AIADMK would share two seats with the PT and one each with the RPI and the AIMMK.

According to MNMK leaders, the party will contest under its own symbol as it was registered with the Election Commission of India.

While the PT and the RPI have the Dalit backing, the MNMK is backed by Muslims and the AIMMK has the support of the Thevar community.

The Naadalum Makkal Katchi promoted by actor-turned-politician Karthik - a Thevar- has announced support to the AIADMK.

The CPI, which held a second round of talks on sharing of seats with the AIADMK, said good progress had been made and a deal would be inked soon.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Tamil Nadu CPI’s secretary D. Pandian said: “We are discussing with the AIADMK the strategy to be adopted to fight the assembly elections. It is for Jayalalithaa to finalise the seat sharing deal. Soon the Tamil Nadu people will be happy to hear about our alliance.”

In 2006, the CPI was a part of the DMK-led alliance and contested 10 seats, winning six.

The AIADMK would also hold talks with the MDMK that has three members in the current Assembly.

The MDMK contested 36 seats in 2006 and won six. The party suffered due to defections by its legislators, bringing down its tally in the assembly.

Meanwhile, there is suspense over the AIADMK joining hands with the DMDK floated by actor-turned-politician Vijayakant.

The inking of deal by DMK with the PMK Friday is likley to give the much needed leverage to the DMDK to bargain for more seats with the AIADMK.

Contesting 232 seats in 2006, the DMDK won only one seat. However, it got a vote share of 8.3 percent. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the party contesting alone increased its vote share to around 10 percent. The DMDK is demanding from the AIADMK not less than 40 seats to contest.

According to the DMDK party officials, by March 15 the seat sharing deal with the AIADMK would be clinched.

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