Even as talks on seat-sharing are still on with the two Left parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday announced the list of party candidates for all the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry. In 2009 elections, the party won nine seats.
However, once the seats are finalised with the CPI (M) and CPI, the AIADMK will withdraw its candidates from the constituencies allotted to the parties, she said.
As a large number of cadre greeted Ms. Jayalalithaa on her 66th birthday, she arrived at the party headquarters here around noon and released the list. She also announced her month-long campaign schedule commencing in Kancheepuram on March 3.
Besides three doctors, there are many law and postgraduate degree holders among the candidates. Three sitting MPs – Dr. P. Venugopal (Tiruvallur), Dr. M. Thambidurai (Karur) and P. Kumar (Tiruchi) – were retained in their respective constituencies.
Asked on the possibility of other parties joining the alliance, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the existing alliance (with the CPI (M) and CPI) was enough for the AIADMK. The slogan for election would be ‘Peace, Prosperity and Progress.’
“My concentration will be on Tamil Nadu. My efforts will be focused on winning all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies,” she said.
As birthday message, Ms. Jayalalithaa urged the people to work for the progress of the State and the country. The party’s election manifesto would be released soon.
To a question whether the State government would seek a special package for Tamil Nadu from the Centre, she said: “This is a [Central] Government that is on the way out. We will get whatever we want from the new government that will take charge probably in June.”
On the issue relating to the release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Chief Minister said she was aware of the Centre's review petition and the State would counter it in the court. “The State Government will do whatever has to be done legally,” she said.