A.V. Raghunathan and S. Dorairaj
Leader's bid to save tie-up with AIADMK
Seat sharing talks inconclusive in Villupuram and Cuddalore districtsDPI workers agitated over allocation in 10 districts
A.V. Raghunathan and
CHENNAI: With time ticking away for the filing of nominations for the local body elections in the State, Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) general secretary Thol.Thirumavalavan has resorted to last-ditch efforts to save his party's alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), even as his lieutenants in some districts have raised the banner of revolt against non-allocation of 15 per cent of seats to the party.
Mr. Thirumavalavan told The Hindu here that the DPI asked for 15 per cent seats in Cuddalore, Villupuram and Perambalur districts. The seat sharing was more or less completed in Perambalur district to the satisfaction of the party.
But the talks were inconclusive in Villupuram and Cuddalore districts, he said, adding that efforts were still on to get in touch with the AIADMK election panel members to secure adequate percentage of seats for the DPI.
The party activists had been asked to remain calm till the issue was sorted out, he said.
A DPI spokesman said the party workers were agitated over allocation of seats, which did not commensurate with its strength in 10 districts including Cuddalore, Villupuram, Dharmapuri, Salem, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruvallur and Vellore.
During the talks with the AIADMK team, the DPI leadership wanted allocation of 15 per cent of seats for the party in these districts, besides earmarking 10 per cent of seats in Madurai, Chennai and Salem corporations, he said.
However, the party decided to accept 4 per cent seats offered to it all over the State, following an assurance given by the AIADMK that adequate number of seats would be allotted to it while talks were held in the districts, the spokesman claimed.
Though DPI activists in some of these districts had announced that the party would go it alone in the local body elections, the party leadership was keen that the discontent over seat allocation should not result in cracks in the alliance, he pointed out.
In Villupuram and Cuddalore districts, the local DPI leaders have announced that the party has walked out of the alliance, as the AIADMK had not honoured its promise of allotting the agreed number of seats to it.
The talks held in the past two days between the district-level leaders of the parties failed to break the stalemate, they said.
Villupuram district DPI organiser Seeralan and public relations officer Thamilendi said the party cadres had put in their best for the success of the alliance in the May Assembly elections, and won three seats in the district, the AIADMK did not seem to have taken into account the party's "significant presence in the district."
In Cuddalore, State deputy general secretary Viduthalai Nambi and State lawyers' wing deputy secretary Thamarai Selvam said the AIADMK panel headed by its district secretary Sorathur Rajendran remained firm and refused to yield any grounds.