PMK to contest seven Lok Sabha seats (Lead)

March 28th, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, March 28 (IANS) AIADMK leader J. Jayalalitha Saturday announced a seat-sharing pact with the PMK for the Lok Sabha election, giving it six seats in Tamil Nadu and one in nearby Puducherry and describing her larger alliance as “an unbeatable winning combination”.
A visibly pleased Jayalalitha told reporters after a meeting with PMK founder leader S. Ramadoss that the latter would also be allocated a Rajya Sabha seat in 2010 as part of a larger understanding aimed at sweeping Tamil Nadu’s 39 and Puducherry’s lone Lok Sabha seats.

Under the agreement, clinched two days after the PMK created a storm by walking out of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the PMK will contest from Kallakurichi, Thiruvannamalai, Arakkonam, Sriperumbudur, Dharmapuri and Chidambaram (reserve) constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and Ramadoss, a doctor by training, met for two hours at the former’s residence in Chennai’s heart, for the first time after many years when they were on the opposite sides of the state’s political spectrum.

“We have entered into an alliance, and it seems to be the considered opinion of the political analysts all over the country that this front is an unbeatable winning combination,” Jayalalitha said.

She noted that her combine already has Vaiko’s MDMK, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

Political analysts said the PMK, with its strongholds in Tamil Nadu’s northern belt that is populated heavily by the Vanniyar community, will complement the AIADMK in the rest of the state.

Ramadoss, who has cited the humiliation allegedly meted out to his party by Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK as the key reason he left the UPA, said: “This (AIADMK-led) front is not only going to win all the seats (in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) but win it by big margin as well.”

Jayalalitha also said that she hoped the AIADMK-led coalition to sweep Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. “The DMK regime will suffer a humiliating defeat,” she said.

Ramadoss reiterated Saturday that his main quarrel was with the DMK although he was unhappy with the Indian government’s Sri Lanka policy too. The PMK is a vocal supporter of the Tamil Tigers.

“Though far from satisfied about the central government’s role in the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, we have no serious quarrel with anyone other than the DMK,” Ramadoss said, reacting to central minister E.V.K.S Elangovan’s statement that PMK would not be welcomed back into the UPA in the future.

The AIADMK suffered a humiliating rout in the 2004 Lok Sabha election when it lost all 40 seats of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to the DMK-Congress-Communist combine.

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