The AIADMK on Wednesday called for applications for those wanting to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. A statement by party’s convenor and joint convenor O Pannerselvam and Edappadi K Palanisami said applications would be accepted from Feb 4 to 10 .
They said aspiring candidate should deposit Rs 25,000 as fee.
The party has already formed a high-level committee to hold talks with like-minded parties on seats sharing. It has also formed committees to draw up campaign plank and prepare manifesto.
By calling for applications for all the 39 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu and the lone Puducherry seat, even before the poll is formally notified by the Election Commission, the AIADMK has sent a signal to the BJP that its consent cannot be taken for granted
Top two leaders, Pannerselvam and Palanisami as well as D Jayakumar have been saying that alliance talks would begin only after the formal announcement is made and decision will be taken in Tamil Nadu’s interest and on the basis of consensus. The only dissident is Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai who has been asserting that BJP cannot coerce his party into submission.
He said on Wednesday that the BJP never said anything about alliance in the past two years since the passing of former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha.
But that is just posturing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been directing every move of the AIADMK Government post-Jayalalitha. In fact Pannerselvam publicly said he merged his breakaway faction with the Edappadi group in 2017 at the dictates of Modi.
For the record the leaders say that if they decide to go it alone, they will only be following in the footsteps of Jayalalitha who led the party alone in 2014 with the slogan” Modi or Lady”. That was a different situation. Now the party has no leader with mass appeal and the regime, with manufactured majority after a split is surviving with the blessings of Modi.