The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which has returned to the AIADMK-led mega alliance in Tamil Nadu after 10 long years, on Monday announced its candidates for all seven Lok Sabha seats. While former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss is fielded from the Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency, PMK senior leaders Vadivel Ravanan and former Union Minister AK Moorthy will be contesting from Villupuram and Arakkonam parliamentary constituencies respectively.
The others who have found place in the list of PMK contestants include R Govindasamy, who will contest from Cuddalore and businessman Sam Paul who has been given the Central Chennai constituency. The party has also fielded A Vaithilingam from Sriperumbudur and K Jyothi from Dindigul Lok Sabha constituencies.
The development came a day after the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Sunday released the distribution of constituencies to be contested by it and its allies for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Other parties in the AIADMK-led mega alliance includes the BJP, DMDK, PT, TMC and the New Justice Party.
The PMK and the MK Stalin-led DMK will face off in all seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu. Apart from these 7 Lok Sabha seats, the DMK is contesting from Villupuram, where the VCK candidate Ravikumar has chosen to contest on the rising sun symbol.
Amid criticism of the alliance by various quarters, a poll pact between PMK and the AIADMK was signed on February 19 in a bid to 'retrieve' and uphold Tamil Nadu's rights on various issues. While the pact is initially signed for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019, the PMK also pledged its support to the ruling party in the bye-elections for the 21 Assembly seats. The seats have been lying vacant following the disqualification or death of sitting MLAs.
PMK has come under sharp attack from DMK and several other opposition political parties and a section of the civil society for aligning with the AIADMK after being a vocal critic of the AIADMK on issues, including corruption.
Defending the tie-up, Ramadoss, however, pointed to the ten-point charter of demands PMK had presented to the AIADMK prior to confirming the alliance. The demands included ensuring release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and implementation of prohibition, he said adding Chief Minister K Palaniswami, also the AIADMK Joint Coordinator, has agreed to 'consider' most of them.
Meanwhile, PMK on Friday released a 94-page manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls which includes the total prohibition, 100 percent duty on tobacco products, mandatory parental consent for weddings of any couple under the age of 21, removal of upper caste reservation and implement reservation based on caste proportion according to 2021 census are some of the most important points in the manifesto.
Single-phase polling in Tamil Nadu is scheduled to take place on April 18 for its 39 parliamentary constituencies. The counting of votes for seven-phase Lok Sabha Elections will be taken up on May 23.