Friday, March 18, 2011

AIADMK discusses seat sharing differences with allies

Chennai, March 18 : Tamil Nadu's main opposition AIADMK and its allies Friday held discussions to iron out differences over seat sharing for the April 13 assembly elections.

Trouble had arisen after the AIADMK issued a list for 160 of the 234 seats in the assembly Wednesday. AIADMK chief and former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday announced the postponement of her campaign programme to sort out the differences with her allies.

"The AIADMK leadership is talking to its allies individually. The talks are in progress. The AIADMK is saying the list was issued owing to some mix ups," a Communist Party of India (CPI) leader told IANS.

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

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 Communist Partyof India-Marxist (CPI-M), CPI, MMK and the Forward Bloc.

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

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

The AIADMK had said it had decided to contest 160 of the state's 234 assembly 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 of its candidates and constituencies, the AIADMK had dumped its long-time ally, the MDMK led by Vaiko.

According to an official of MDMK, the party would decide its future course of action March 19 at its district secretaries' meeting.

He said the AIADMK did not offer decent number of seats. "The final offer was nine seats whereas we had scaled down our demand to 23 from 35," he said.

Anger against Jayalalitha led DMDK cadres to burn her effigy and shout slogans against the AIADMK general secretary.

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