Chennai: With the Election Commission announcing Sunday that Tamilnadu will have single-phase polling (for 39 Lok Sabha seats and 18 Assembly constituencies), leaders are left with very little time considering the huge tasks before them.
Only last night, the AIADMK signed a seat-sharing pact with Vijayakanth’s DMDK, which had been delaying its decision for weeks. With O Panneerselvam, the AIADMK’s coordinator and Tamilnadu Deputy Chief Minister, stating that G K Vasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress, too, is expected to join the fold in a day or two, the ruling party, which has already forged partnership with the BJP and PMK, is yet to complete its alliance process.
AIADMK sources say, “Everything in connection with alliance, from sharing of seats to identification of constituencies, will be completed by Wednesday or Thursday. Interviewing of candidates has started today and we will be the first party to release the name of candidates. Our manifesto is ready and it will be unveiled very soon. We will follow in the footsteps of Amma (Jayalalithaa).”
They add that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (the party’s joint coordinator) and Panneerselvam are holding intense discussions with office-bearers and are leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory in not just Lok Sabha polls, but also in the by-election to 18 Assembly seats, as winning the Assembly polls is crucial for the continuance of the AIADMK government.
As far as the main Opposition, the DMK, is concerned, though it has completed its alliance process last week, it is yet to identify seats among the partners. But, Anna Arivalayam sources state that identification of constituencies is almost over and only an official announcement is pending, due to a few minor glitches. “An amicable solution will be arrived at and the list will be out in a day or two,” they add.
It is also learnt that an elaborate campaign schedule is being worked out for party president M K Stalin.
The DMK has tied up with the Congress, VCK, CPI, CPI(M), MDMK, IUML and other parties.