TN parties set to speed up process of firming up alliances

Chennai: With just 17 days left for filing of nominations to begin for the April 13 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, political parties are set to hasten the process of firming up alliances.

The ruling DMK, which had completed the seat sharing exercise with minor allies like PMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, IUML and Movendar Munnetra Kazhagam, is to yet to do so with its major ally Congress.

Congress and DMK had several rounds of talks which, however, got bogged down with the former insisting on more number of seats this time.

A final picture is likely to emerge tomorrow or day after, with the AICC general secretary in charge of Tamil Nadu, Ghulam Nabi Azad rushing here to sort out various issues.

Congress sources said the party was likely to settle for 50 to 60 seats, amid reports that it had pitched for over 80 seats as against the 48 allotted last time.

DMK said its President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi would interview from March 8-13 partymen who had sought ticket to contest the elections.

In the AIADMK front, seat sharing exercise has been completed with minor parties like Puthiya Tamizhagam, RPI, AIFB, All India Movender Munnetra Kazhagam but yet to begin with major allies like MDMK and the left parties.

AIADMK is awaiting actor Vijaykant`s DMDMK to come out with its stand. DMDMK, which has a potential to play spoilsport, would be the second biggest party in the alliance, in the event of it joining the AIADMK-led Front.

The poll schedule announced by the Election Commission gives parties a shorter time for campaigning as compared to earlier elections.