Ending days of speculation,two Tamil Nadu fronts formalised their seat-sharing agreements here on Saturday for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Opposition front set the ball rolling when AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa and PMK founder S Ramadoss announced their unbeatable alliance after a meeting at Jayas residence on Saturday morning. According to the agreement,the PMK will contest seven Lok Sabha seats,including the lone Puducherry constituency.
The UPA,or what is left of it in the state,also finalised their seat-sharing later in the day,according to which alliance leader DMK will contest 21 seats,five more than the 16 it won in 2004. The Congress has cornered 16,including Puducherry,six more than the 10 it won last time.
Dalit outfit VCK,which had heckled the Congress with repeated pro-LTTE statements,has been allotted two seats and the Indian Union Muslim League (TN) one. These two parties have signed the agreement with the DMK,while the Congress has entered into an alliance with the DMK in a separate agreement.
AICC leader in charge of Tamil Nadu Ghulam Nabi Azad,who reached the city on Saturday evening to take part in the discussions,said his party was satisfied with the way seat-sharing was conducted.
As per the AIADMK-PMK agreement,the latter will contest from Sriperumbudur,Thiruvannamalai,Kallakurichi,Chidambaram,Dharmapuri,Arakkonam and Puducherry.
The agreement also stipulates that the AIADMK will support PMKs candidate for 2010 Rajya Sabha elections,reported to be reserved for Anbumani Ramadoss.
Jayalalithaa said the seat allocation for other parties in the Opposition alliance MDMK,CPM and CPI will be completed in a day or two.
After a brief rise in graph following his recent protests over the war in Sri Lanka,MDMK general secretary Vaiko is clearly on the backfoot,with three of his MLAs and two MPs deciding to repatriate to parent DMK. The party had won four seats last time.
DMDK leader Vijayakanth,meanwhile,released the second list of candidates for the elections on Saturday. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry together send 40 members to Parliament.
Meanwhile,PMK representatives in the Union Ministry Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and Minister of State for Railways R Velu on Saturday resigned from the Manmohan Singh Government. Both of them met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and submitted their resignations.
Talking to reporters after submitting his resignation,Ramadoss said the Prime Minister told him that he would forward the resignation with a heavy heart.
With ENS New Delhi