Lok Sabha polls | O. Panneerselvam faction submits wishlist of 15 seats to BJP

Chennai Central, Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Madurai are some of the major constituencies the faction has sought; the details of the BJP coalition are expected to be made public during the PM’s visit to Salem later this week

March 11, 2024 02:20 pm | Updated 03:36 pm IST - CHENNAI

O. Panneerselvam presenting a shawl to Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy at the meeting between his faction and BJP leaders on Sunday (March 10, 2024) night

O. Panneerselvam presenting a shawl to Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy at the meeting between his faction and BJP leaders on Sunday (March 10, 2024) night | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A host of Lok Sabha constituencies, representing all regions in the State, forms part of the wishlist of 15 seats submitted by the group headed by O. Panneerselvam, the AIADMK’s expelled coordinator, to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is seeking to head an alliance for the 2024 polls. The group has been named the ‘AIADMK Workers Rights’ Retrieval Committee’.

Central Chennai, Arani and Sriperumpudur in the north; Thanjavur, Tiruchi and Nagapattinam in the Central region; Salem, Coimbatore and Namakkal in the west and Sivaganga, Madurai, Theni, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram in the south are among the constituencies identified by the Panneerselvam group, which held its interviews with aspirants from its group, according to senior leaders of the Pannerselvam camp. 

On Sunday (March 10, 2024) night, Mr. Panneerselvam, accompanied by his colleagues, met a team of BJP leaders comprising Kishan Reddy, Gen (retd,) V.K. Singh, L. Murugan and K. Annamalai.  

Refusing to divulge the details regarding the number of seats sought, apart from constituencies, Mr. Panneerselvam said he had presented his wishlist to the BJP. He said he hoped there would be another round of discussions shortly.  

As for Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) led by T.T.V. Dhinakaran, which is an ally of his group, Mr Panneerselvam said there would be separate talks between the BJP and the AMMK on seat sharing.   A functionary of the AMMK said his party was expecting a call from the BJP in a day or two.  

It is expected that the contours of the BJP’s coalition will be made public during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Salem later this week.  

AIADMK’s seat-sharing talks impasse continues

Meanwhile, a senior leader of the AIADMK conceded that the stalemate over the talks with the PMK and the DMDK continued and there would be clarity over the situation only a few days from now. The AIADMK leadership’s unwillingness to concede the allotment of one Rajya Sabha seat to either of the parties is being cited as one of the factors holding up the process of seat sharing. As far as the Dravidian major is concerned, the present strength of the party in the legislature can ensure only one person getting elected smoothly to the Upper House.

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