AIADMK to contest in 182 constituencies, Jaya releases list

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Chennai, Mar 24: The ruling AIADMK, heading the Democratic People Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu, will contest 182 seats in the May 8 Assembly elections, leaving 52 seats to its allies.

AIADMK General Secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today released the list of constituencies to be contested by DPA allies including AIADMK, MDMK, Dalit Panthers of India, Indian National Trade Union Congress (Tamil Nadu), Indian National League, Indian Union Muslim League (Tamil Nadu), Moovender Munnetra Kazhagam, All India Forward Block (Santhanam) and Janata Dal (Secular).

The AIADMK supremo will hit the campaign trail on March 31 and will undertake extensive electioneering till May 6 in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala, which go to polls in April and May, a party release here said.

The AIADMK will lock horns with its main rival, the DMK, in nine out of 14 Assembly constituencies in Chennai district. The party will contest in Royapuram, Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar, Poonga Nagar, Purasawalkam, T Nagar, Thousand Lights, Triplicane, Mylapore and Saidapet.

The AIADMK had chosen to jump into the electoral fray in Thousand Lights, which was held by Mr M K Stalin, the son of DMK President M Karuanidhi and party Deputy General Secretary.

Barring a few seats, the party has retained most of the seats won by it in the 2001 Assembly elections. Ms Jayalalithaa has also retained party's traditional strongholds such as Andipatti, where she won last time, Bodinayakkanur, Periyakulam, Andipatti, Sedapatti, Usilampatti and Theni in the South.

The party will contest in 34 reserved constituencies.

The MDMK, which has been allocated 35 seats in the alliance, will contest in four constituencies in Chennai district -- Harbour, Egmore (reserved), Anna Nagar and Perambur (reserved). While the party will engage in a straight contest with its former ally, CPI(M), in Perambur, it will lock horns with the DMK in the remaining three constituencies in Chennai.

The MDMK, which is yet to enter the Legislative Assembly, will also contest in Sivakasi, Vasudevanallur (reserved), Tenkasi, Sattankulam and Nagercoil in the South, where the party had a substantial vote base.

The Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) will contest in eight reserved constituencies, including Mangalore, Chengam, Sriperumbudur and Valparai. It has also been allotted Mugaiyur, a general constituency.

The INTUC (TN) will contest in Villivakkam and Singanallur, INL in Vaniampadi and Palayamkottai, IUML (TN) in Chepauk, the MMK in Thiruverambur, Forward Block in Madurai Central and JD(Secular) in Pennagaram.

UNI

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