The party has been offered seven Lok Sabha constituencies
CHENNAI: The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) is close to finalising a seat-sharing deal with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for the Lok Sabha elections.
The party has been offered seven Lok Sabha constituencies: Sriperumpudur, Arakkonam, Tiruvannamalai, Kallakurichi, Chidambaram, Dharmapuri and Puducherry. There is an understanding between the two parties that one seat in the Rajya Sabha, where the PMK has Anbumani Ramadoss as its member, will also be given to the party.
Delay in announcement
But, what is delaying the formal announcement of the deal is the PMK’s disinclination in contesting from the Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency, according to party sources.
This is because the PMK wants to avoid a scenario wherein it would have to take on the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), which has been its close ally.
The VCK, the sources say, has made up its mind to be in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led alliance and, in all likelihood, will be given the Chidambaram seat. In recent times, the PMK and the VCK have been working together on a variety of issues, including that of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Chances of the VCK standing in Chidambaram are bright, as party leader Thol. Thirumavalavan contested the 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the constituency.
Though he lost on both occasions, he polled about 2.26 lakh votes in 1999 and 2.56 lakh votes in 2004.
In 1999, Mr. Thirumavalavan contested as the candidate of the erstwhile Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) in 1999 and that of the Janata Dal (United) in 2004 as part of the electoral understanding.
Under such circumstances, the PMK prefers Kancheepuram or Tiruvallur to Chidambaram.
A section of the PMK leaders feel that in the event of the AIADMK not willing to make any concession on Chidambaram, it can, at least, offer Arni instead of Sriperumpudur.
After a gap of eight years
It is after a gap of eight years that the PMK will be aligning with the AIADMK to face elections in the State. In the 2001 Assembly elections, the PMK won 20 Assembly constituencies out of 27 constituencies.
PMK sources also say that the Congress party is exerting pressure on the PMK to face the elections as part of the DMK-led alliance.