AIADMK virtually goes it alone, candidates named in 227 seats

AIADMK virtually goes it alone, candidates named in 227 seats

AIADMK virtually goes it alone, candidates named in 227 seats
Virtually going it alone for the May 16 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today named candidates for 227 seats of the total 234 while leaving only seven seats for smaller allies.

Jayalalithaa also announced that she would be seeking re-election from RK Nagar here. Sixteen of her Cabinet colleagues were re-nominated while she denied seat to 10 others including Minister for Sports and Youth Welfare S Sundararaj who was recently in the eye of a storm over his inspection of a girl's hostel at night.

A majority of the 149 sitting MLAs have not been renominated. She has given opportunity to party functionaries from all levels of party hierarchy, and various wings, newcomers from DMDK and PMK, besides former elected representatives.
32 women have been given tickets, including two sitting women Ministers Gokula Indira and Valarmathi.

Other sitting Ministers who have got renominated are her loyalist, O Panneerselvam, Natham R Viswanathan, R Vaithilingam, and Edapadi Palanisamy, Thoppu Venkatachalam, Sellur Raju, Thangamani, SP Velumani, R Kamaraj, KT Rajendhra Balaji, MC Sampath, RB Udayakumar, KC Veeramani, and C Vijayabaskar.

Former Ministers, who had held office and were later sacked like K A Sengottaiyan, S V Shanmugam, V Senthil Balaji, and KP Munusamy, have been given tickets. Several professionals, including doctors, and advocates figure in the list.

Other prominent faces include Deputy Mayor of Chennai Benjamin, former Director General of Police R Natraj, now an AIADMK member. Among the sitting MLAs who have got tickets are D Jayakumar (former Speaker), JCD Prabhakar and Neelakandan.

Rebel sitting MLAs of DMDK and PMK, K Pandiarajan and M Kalai Arasu respectively have been given tickets. Panruti Ramachandran, a veteran politician who reverted to AIADMK after a stint in DMDK has got a ticket.

Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, and P Vetrivel who vacated his seat for Jayalalithaa to enable her to contest in RK Nagar last year, have been named in the list. Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, a former Minister belonging to the DMK and who switched loyalty to AIADMK in 2013, will seek his fortune as a ruling party nominee.

The announcement has also belied expectations of the former Union Minister GK Vasan-led TMC that it would be accommodated in the ruling AIADMK-led front.

Allies Indian Republican Party, AISMK, Tamil Nadu Kongu Ilangyar Peravai, Tamil Manila Muslim League and Mukkulathor Pulipadai have all been allotted one seat each and Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi, a splinter outfit of MMK has been given two seats. Jayalalithaa held talks with them prior to the announcement.

On the other hand, AIADMK's rival DMK, which just concluded seat-sharing with Congress and smaller allies, is expected to announce its candidates later.

Deciding to go solo, AIADMK also named candidates for all the 30 constituencies in the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry including seven seats in Kariakal, Mahe and Yanam.

Seven candidates were also named in Kerala by the party in regions close to Tamil Nadu.

Nominees were named in Tiruvananthapuram District, Chitoor, Malampuzha and Nemmara (all in Palakkad District), Peermedu, Udumbanchozha, Devikulam (in Idukki district). AIADMK had won a few seats in such areas in the civic polls held last year.

This is the first time AIADMK is contesting in as many as 227 seats in over 40 years since it was founded in 1972 by former Chief Minister and a hugely popular actor of yesteryears M G Ramachandran.

Also, it has dropped as many as 116 sitting MLAs and has given tickets to only 33 of them. AIADMK's present total tally is 149.

Pazha Karuppiah resigned after he was recently expelled from the party and it brought down the total number of ruling party MLAs by one seat in the Assembly.

In the 2011 Assembly election, AIADMK contested 165 seats and won a whopping 150 constituencies, polling 1,43,81,820 votes, bagging a vote share of 39.08 per cent.

Its ally DMDK contested in 41 seats and won 29. Similarly CPI(M), and CPI contested in 12 and 10 seats respectively and won 10 and 9 constituencies as AIADMK's allies. Likewise, MMK another electoral partner of AIADMK, MMK won two seats after contesting in three constituencies.

Similarly, in Puducherry AINRC-AIADMK bagged 20 of the 30 seats. While AIADMK got 15 seats, AIADMK won five constituencies.  

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