AIADMK clinches LS poll deals with DMDK, SDPI

AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) general secretary Premalatha Vijayakanth address the media after finalising a seat sharing arrangement for Lok Sabha elections, at AIADMK headquarters, in Chennai, Wednesday, March 20, 2024.
AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) general secretary Premalatha Vijayakanth address the media after finalising a seat sharing arrangement for Lok Sabha elections, at AIADMK headquarters, in Chennai, Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

Chennai | Tamil Nadu's main opposition party AIADMK on Wednesday finalised seat sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls with allies DMDK, SDPI and Puthiya Tamizhagam.

Announcing the electoral pacts here at the party headquarters, AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami said the DMDK would contest from Tiruvallur (SC), Central Chennai, Cuddalore, Thanjavur and Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituencies.

Puthiya Tamizhagam has (PT) been allocated Tenkasi constituency and SDPI the Dindigul segment, Palaniswami said.

The poll pacts were signed with DMDK general secretary Premalatha Vijayakanth, PT chief K Krishansamy and SDPI's state unit chief Nellai Mubarak.

On DMK making several assurances in its manifesto for the LS polls, Palaniswami asked if the ruling party has fulfilled promises made ahead of the 2019 Parliamentary election and the 2021 Assembly polls.

"How many assurances has the DMK fulfilled? Ahead of the (2021) Assembly polls, the DMK had repeatedly affirmed that once it captured power it would scrap NEET for Tamil Nadu. Three years have gone by. However, the assurance has not been fulfilled," Palaniswami said.

Though the DMK has 38 MPs in the outgoing Lok Sabha, they did not exert pressure on the Centre to get NEET annulled. "That is why we say that people of Tamil Nadu will not get any benefit even if they (DMK) win elections," Palaniswami, the former chief minister, said.

For the DMDK, which was founded by actor-politician 'Captain' Vijayakanth in 2005, this would be the first election the party is set to fight after his death on December 28 last year. His wife and DMDK general secretary Premalatha Vijayakanth described the AIADMK as a "natural ally." She said that a "big victory alliance", like the one ahead of the 2011 Assembly polls, has been formed again.

"This victory alliance will continue in the 2026 Assembly polls also," she revealed.

When DMDK aligned with the AIADMK in 2011, history was created with the alliance sweeping the polls. While J Jayalalithaa became the Chief Minister, Vijayakanth got the post of the leader of the opposition, she said.

2011 was a watershed moment for the DMDK, when it won 29 seats as part of the AIADMK-led alliance, pushing DMK to the third spot in the assembly as it managed to secure only 23. This enabled Vijayakanth to become the leader of the opposition.

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