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Early poll announcement, parties get more time to prepare

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 2 (UNI) The rather early announcement of the schedule for the forthcoming Assembly polls, might have taken the political parties in Tamil Nadu by surprise, but it has given them ample time for them to prepare the ground for the May eight elections.

The general perception till yesterday was that the Election Commission might announce the schedule only in the second week of this month.

However, the ''early'' announcement has given more time to the arch rivals, the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK. It will help them firm up alliances, identify constituencies and finalise the list of candidates and start their preparations in earnest for the polls, which are expected to generate more heat than the peak ''summer heat'' in May.

''We thought the announcement might come in the second week or around tenth of March. Perhaps, it did take us by surprise'', sources in the DMK said.

However, the EC's decision to have one-day polling was welcomed by political parties, whose leaders in a recent meeting with Election Commissioner Gopalswamy, had favoured one-day poll in the State.

''Considering that the temperatures might hover around 40 plus in May, the EC's decision is most welcome'', an AIADMK leader said.

''It (the announcement) will also help us to speed up the ground work for the elections'', he added.

It would also help the parties to finalise the poll manifesto and work out the campaign schedule, involving top leaders, much in advance before entering the battle ground.

The J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK had already taken a lead by striking a deal with the Dalit outfit, Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) and had even earmarked nine seats for that party, which has a significant presence in the Central and Northern belt of Tamil Nadu.

The decision of DPI leader Thol Thirumavalavan, to ink a pact with the AIADMK, after unsuccessfully knocking at the doors of the DPA, came in as a rude shock for some of its constituents, especially the PMK, which had been making attempts to rope DPI into the DPA fold.

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