Known to hit the ground running by commencing elec toral work early and announcing candidates before other parties figure out their candidates’ list, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa initiated seatsharing talks with the party’s allies on Friday evening. The election panel consisting of R Vaithilingam, Edappadi K Palaniswamy , P Thangamani and S P Velumani had a 90-minute session with Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) leader T Velmurugan.
The TVK submitted a wishlist consisting of 11 seats, including two in Puducherry . The party founded by the former PMK leader is said to have sought seats in vanniyar-dominated districts like Cuddalore, Salem, Dharmapuri, and Villupuram, where it has a strong presence. “Assembly seats in Chennai, Ariyalur, Tiruvallur, and southern districts like Tuticorin were also in in the TVK radar,“ said an AIADMK leader, seeking anonymity . The fourmember team said it would revert back after discussing with the party high-command. Another round of talks will be held next week.
Other allies that are looking forward to the talks include the Republican Party of India, the All India Forward Bloc and the Kongu Ilaignar Peravai, which have a representation in the present assembly , besides Islamic outfits, Tamil Maanila Muslim League, and India Towheed Jamath. The leaders met Jayalalithaa on Sunday, and expressed their keen interest in contesting as part of the AIADMK front. Sources said with party seniors like O Panneerselvam, Natham R Viswanathan and P Palaniappan out of the the seat-sharing panel, Vaithilingam and Palanichamy took the lead in the talks.
Observers say that since the assembly poll may not be a cakewalk for the ruling AIADMK, unlike the 2014 LS polls in which it swept 37 out of 39 seats and became the third largest party next only to Congress in Parliament, Jayalalithaa may include a few more allies to strengthen her hands. G K Vasan’s TMC and Jawahirullah’s MMK are seen as possible allies, but those parties are yet to receive official invites for talks.Vasan, who earlier declared that he would announce his electoral strategy after March 16, is now buying time, since he is also being wooed by other fronts, including PWF and DMDK.
dinathanthi newspaper 19/03/2016 : http://www.dinathanthiepaper.in/firstpage.aspx