Puthiya Tamizhagam, a Dalit outfit, representing the Pallar community which has a strong presence in southern Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, on Saturday joined the AIADMK-led alliance for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Talking to reporters after signing the agreement in the presence of AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, Dr Krishnaswamy said he had been allotted the Tenkasi( Reserved) constituency in Tirunelveli.
He said he had joined the alliance as Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami has agreed to his main demand to remove the Devendrakula Vellalars, popularly known as Pallars, from the Scheduled Caste list as they feel stigmatised.
Dr Krishnaswamy, who won from Ottapadaram Assembly which comes under Tenkasi Lok Sabha constituency, in 1996 on Janata Party ticket, founded the Puthiya Tamizham in 1999.
Dr Krishnaswamy said his party would contest on its own symbol “as they are practical difficulties in fighting on the AIADMK symbol”. He also pledged his party support to the AIADMK in the by-elections to 21 Assembly constituencies.
These seats have fallen vacant after the disqualification of 18 rebel legislators of AIADMK leader T T V Dinakaran’s faction and death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi ( Tiruvarur) and AIADMK’s AK Bose ( Tiruparankundram) and disqualification of AIADMK legislator P Balakrishna Reddy( Hosur) following his conviction in a criminal case.
The AIADMK has already formed alliance with the BJP and the PMK, giving them five and seven seats each respectively.
The alliance will take final shape once actor Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam(DMDK) takes a decision. It may go with whichever of the two formations, the AIADMK or the DMK, offers more seats.