Chennai: After the ruling AIADMK succeeded in bringing ‘captain’ Vijayakanth's DMDK on board its grand alliance in the state for the April 18 Lok Sabha election, on Sunday, the party has commenced in earnest the process of interviewing the candidates. And on the first day, Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam's son P. Raveendranath Kumar and Theni sitting MP R. Parthiban were among scores of aspirants who turned up for the interview.
Both Raveendranath and Parthiban are seeking to contest from Theni, said sources. The two are among the nearly 1,500 party members who had submitted their applications seeking to contest on party tickets, last month.
Also, the party invited applications from party aspirants to contest in the Assembly by-elections to be held simultaneously for 18 constituencies, on Wednesday. Those keen on contesting the by-election under the party ticket must submit their applications on March 13 by providing Rs. 25,000 per constituency at the party headquarters here in morning. The filled forms should be submitted the same day itself, the party said. The by-polls are considered crucial as it would have a bearing on the stability of the Palaniswami-led AIADMK government which needs to win a sizeable number of them to retain its majority in the 234-member House.
On Sunday when the AIADMK finalised the poll alliance with DMDK, the Election Commission had announced the election schedule for the entire country and also for the by-elections to 18 vacant Assembly constituencies. The State will go to polls on April 18 during the second phase and the counting of votes would be taken up on May 23.
On Monday, the AIADMK Parliamentary Board, whose members include Mr. Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, interviewed the aspiring candidates for 10 constituencies including Salem, Nilgiris, Theni, Virudhunaar, Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari. The interview session is expected to continue tomorrow as well.
The AIADMK had formed an electoral alliance with PMK allocating it 7 Lok Sabha seats, BJP: 5, DMDK: 4, Puthiya Tamizhagam, Puthiya Needhi Katchi and N R Congress: 1 each. If more parties don't join the AIADMK combine, then the party would contest from 21 Lok Sabha constituencies....