Unlike 2014, AIADMK to have allies for LS polls

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK Wednesday announced a five-member committee led by senior leader K P Munusamy to hold seat sharing talks with potential allies for the Lok Sabha election.

Electricity Minister P Thangamani, Local Administration Minister S P Velumani, Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam and party organisation secretary J C D Prabhakar will be part of the panel, a party release said.

The ruling party has maintained it will take decisions on forging alliance during the run up to the polls and the Munusamy-led panel is now expected to set in motion the process. There are speculations that the regional party may align up with the BJP for the coming elections.

“We have not closed our doors for alliance. The doors are very much open. But who is to be included, who is not required, these decisions cannot be made by an individual,” Minister D Jayakumar had said Tuesday.

While AIADMK contested all the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state and won 37 of them under the leadership of late J Jayalalithaa in 2014, smaller outfits like the Kongu Youth front, Mukkalthor Puli Padai, and Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi aligned with it in the 2016 assembly polls.

Kongu outfit leader U Thaniyarasu told PTI that “we are in the AIADMK front…but we might consider the matter (on electoral ties with AIADMK) afresh in tune with the expectations of the people and opinions of party workers.”

Days after the arch rival DMK announced teams to hold seat sharing talks with allies and draft poll manifesto, the AIADMK too had recently announced a seven-member panel headed by senior leader C Ponnaiyan for drafting its election manifesto.

The Congress and IUML are already in the DMK’s camp and outfits like the CPI, CPI(M), Vaiko-led MDMK are likely to formally join hands with the Dravidian party to face the Lok Sabha polls.

PMK chief S Ramadoss said on 21 January that he has so far not decided on the question of forging alliance for the Lok Sabha election.