Chennai, March 20 (IANS) A three-day crisis that threatened to break the AIADMK camp ended Sunday with its major ally DMDK agreeing to contest from the 41 constituencies allotted to it in Tamil Nadu.
DMDK presidium chairman Panruti S. Ramachandran said the 41 places had been identified and awaited the formal approval by the party’s leader-cum- actor Vijayakant.
This followed marathon discussions Saturday night at AIADMK general secretary and former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa’s residence.
With this, the battle lines have been drawn between the two major fronts led by the ruling DMK and the main opposition AIADMK in the April 13 polls for the 234-seat Tamil Nadu assembly.
Although the AIADMK has sewed up alliances for 74 of the 234 seats with 10 small and big parties, Jayalalithaa’s main worry was to carry along the hugely popular Vijayakant, who has the power to make or break her combine.
Besides the DMDK, the other parties which will fight the elections in alliance with the AIADMK are the CPI-M (12 seats), CPI (10), MNMK (3), PT (2), SMK (2), RPI (1), FB (1), KYF (1) and AIMMK (1)
But it did lose a long-time ally in Vaiko’s MDMK, which quit the AIADMK alliance after accusing Jayalalithaa of arrogance. The MDMK is to boycott the elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The MDMK initially asked for 35 seats and later scaled down the number to 21 whereas the AIADMK’s final offer was 12 seats.
Jayalalithaa said she regretted Vaiko’s exit and said her respect and affection for him would never diminish.
Sunday’s developments also cap the AIADMK’s troubles that arose March 17 when it unilaterally released the list of 160 constituencies it desired to contest.
Most parties in the front were furious. Faced with a possible Third Front, the AIADMK opened fresh discussions with its partners.
The AIADMK is expected to release its official list of candidates Monday.
Jayalalithaa said Saturday that candidates who figure in the March 21 list should file their nominations March 24 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.