2019 general elections: Alliances still being stitched together in Tamilnadu

Chennai: Today was yet another day of hectic parleys and brainstorming sessions in the political camps of Tamilnadu, in view of the Lok Sabha elections.

The ruling AIADMK, sources said, has started the process of identification of seats for its alliance partners – BJP and PMK – which were recently allotted five and seven constituencies.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the joint coordinator of the AIADMK, had a discussion with senior ministers S P Velumani and P Thangamani, and sources said it revolved around ending the deadlock with Vijayakanth’s DMDK, which is demanding more seats to be part of the alliance.

Former president of Tamilnadu Congress Committee, S Thirunavukkarasar, called on the actor-turned-politician at his Saligramam residence in the city today. Even as the meet triggered speculations that the DMK-Congress combine was trying to woo the DMDK to its fold, Thirunavukkarasar said, “This is just a courtesy call. Vijayakanth is a longtime friend of mine. The meeting is to enquire about his health condition.”

In the meantime, leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI met DMK leaders here today. CPI(M) State secretary K Balakrishnan said, “The first round of (alliance) talks are over. Discussions will continue.”

CPI State secretary R Mutharasan said he met DMK president Stalin to invite him for a CPI conference in Coimbatore, slated for 27 February.

STALIN’S CALL FOR PEOPLE MANIFESTO

The interesting thing among today’s developments was a surprise call from Stalin, inviting people to send ideas for the DMK’s manifesto.

‘Do you have ideas & dreams for our Tamilnadu? Would you like them to be a part of the election manifesto of the DMK? We are keen on hearing you,’ he said in a tweet.

Stalin, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Tamilnadu Assembly, added: ‘Do send your ideas to [email protected] & #DMKmanifesto2019 Let’s together serve our great state!’

The announcement from Stalin came a day after his party finalised the seat-sharing exercise with key ally Congress, allotting it nine seats in Tamilnadu and one in neighbouring Puducherry. On Tuesday, the AIADMK cobbled up an alliance with the BJP and PMK.

M Bhaskar Sai