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Nominations filed but DPA list still not released

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POLL RUSH: Candidates and party cadres choke Big Bazaar Street near the Coimbatore Corporation office on Wednesday, the last day for the filing of nominations for the local body elections. - PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
POLL RUSH: Candidates and party cadres choke Big Bazaar Street near the Coimbatore Corporation office on Wednesday, the last day for the filing of nominations for the local body elections. - PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

K.V. Prasad

`Delay due to discord among allies over allocation of a few wards'

COIMBATORE: The Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) was still stuck in talks over sharing of wards but the candidates filed their nominations on the last day on Wednesday.

Sources in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), leader of the DPA, told The Hindu that the list of candidates would be finalised in two days as there was discord among the allies over allocation of a few wards.

Besides, some top-level members of the parties were also in the race for councillorship as direct elections to mayorship had been scrapped.

As suitable wards had to be allocated to them, the discussions had consumed a lot of time and delayed the finalisation of the candidates' list, a senior DMK functionary said.

The talks were continuing with the Coimbatore East MLA and DMK district secretary Pongalur N. Palanisamy as the DPA's election in-charge of the district. The functionary said as 10 per cent of the wards were to be decided, the list of candidates for the rest 90 per cent also could not be released.

Allocation

The sources attributed the delay in the process to the `very short' period given for the entire process of identifying candidates and allocating wards.

The tentative arrangement as on Wednesday was that the DMK would contest 34 of the 72 wards in the Coimbatore Corporation.

The wards allotted to the allies were: Congress -7, Communist Party of India -7, Communist Party of India(Marxist) - 10, Pattali Makkal Katchi - 1 and Indian Union Muslim League - 2. The CPI was said to have asked for one more seat and the ongoing talks included this demand also.

The sources said a sizeable portion of the time taken so far was consumed by dealing with the demands of the smaller parties who could not be ignored.

The DMK functionary pointed out that it was not just 72 wards of the Corporation, but candidates for over 5,000 posts in the local bodies across the district that had to be discussed in a very short time.

In the rival camp, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had finalised candidates for 52 wards of the Corporation. It had given 13 to the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, one each to Janata Dal (Secular) and Moovendar Munnetra Kazhagam and two to Indian Union Muslim League (Jaleel).

Now the focus was on what it would do to the three seats it had given to the Dalit Panthers of India that broke away from the alliance on Wednesday evening. The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and the Bharatiya Janata Party had fielded candidates for all the wards in all the local bodies as they were going it alone.

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