Announcing a pre-poll alliance in Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK on Tuesday allotted seven Lok Sabha seats to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. Announcing the deal in the presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said it has also been decided that the PMK will be allocated a Rajya Sabha seat. The alliance is likely to include the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vijayakanth-led DMDK. Senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal is in Chennai and he is likely to negotiate the deal with the AIADMK and DMDK.
Under the deal, the PMK will be supporting the AIADMK in the bypolls expected to 21 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, he said. A formal agreement in this regard was signed between the leadership of the two parties in a city hotel.
PMK founder leader S Ramadoss described the coalition as “an alliance for people’s welfare, a mega-coalition and a victorious alliance.”
“To retrieve the rights of Tamil Nadu people, we have made a 10-point charter of demands,” Ramadoss said. The demands include declaring the Cauvery delta districts as a protected farm region, a caste-wise census be held in Tamil Nadu and seven Rajiv case convicts be set free.
“This coalition will be successful in all the 40 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,” he said. The rationale for aligning with the AIADMK will be explained by his son and former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss later, he said.
It must be noted that the AIADMK, with 37 seats, is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha after BJP and Congress. With the various alliances in the offing for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the party will contest a lesser number of seats as compared to 2014.