Tamil Nadu’s principal opposition party Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (DMK) today (Mar 15) announced the names of the constituencies the party and its allies will contest from in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the April 18 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing mediapersons at Anna Arivalayam, DMK president MK Stalin said their coalition will be called as ‘Secular Progressive Alliance’.
Stalin released the list of constituencies allotted to the allies in the presence of coalition leaders, including the newly appointed TNCC chief KS Alagiri and MDMK’s Vaiko, at the party headquarters here.
“DMK along with its friendly parties have been raising together for several issues in the State for the past few years and we are happy that we have come to form an alliance now,” he said.
DMK will contest in 20 seats of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. The party will field candidates in Salem, Chennai North, Chennai South, Central Chennai, Sriperumbudur, Kancheepuram, Arakkonam, Vellore, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Kallakurichi, Nilgiri, Pollachi, Dindigul, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Thanjavur, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi and Tirunelveli.
DMK’s principal ally Congress has been allocated from nine seats in the state - Kanniyakumari, Sivagangai, Theni, Virudhunagar, Karur, Thiruvallur, Arani, Trichy
Krishnagiri, Puducherry . The national party will also fight from the lone seat in neighbouring Puducherry.
The CPI(M) has been allotted Coimbatore and Madurai, while the CPI will fight from Tirupur and Nagapattinam, a reserved constituency. Thol. Thirumavalavan led VCK has been given Villupuram and Chidambaram (SC) segments. The Vaiko-led MDMK has been allotted the Erode constituency.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) will contest from Ramanathapuram and Namakkal, respectively, while the Pachamuthu led IJK has been allotted Perambalur.
Stalin also said that the candidates list of the DMK will be announced on 17 March and added that the alliance parties will be announcing their candidates in the coming days as well.
Stalin added that the candidates for the by-elections will also be announced along with the Lok Sabha candidate list. Contrary to speculations, Stalin asserted that MDMK will be given a Rajya Sabha seat.
“The election manifesto of DMK is getting ready and is in its final stages. It will be formally released in four to five days,” he said. Leaders of the alliance parties were also present on the occasion.
Soon after Stalin announced the constituencies list today, CPM announced its candidates for Madurai and Coimbatore seats. Former MP P.R Natarajan will be contesting from Coimbatore and noted Tamil writer S. Venkatesan will be party’s Madurai candidate. Venkatesan’s Kavalkottam, published in 2008, was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil in 2011. He is the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association.
DMK women's Wing Secretary Kanimozhi is likely to be fielded by Thoothukudi. Dayanidhi Maran is likely to be contest from Central Chennai.