Straight contest between AIADMK and DMK in 106 constituencies

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Chennai, Mar 24 (UNI) A straight contest will be witnessed between two bitter rivals -- the ruling AIADMK and the DMK-- in as many as 106 constituencies in the ensuing Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK will be locking horns with the DMK in star constituencies like Andipatti, held by party supremo J Jayalalithaa, and Thousand Lights, the seat held by DMK Deputy General Secretary M K Stalin.

The AIADMK will be contesting 182 seats in the May 8 Assembly polls, the highest number to be contested by the party so far, against the DMK's 129.

Interestingly, a similar situation was witnessed in the 1980 Assembly elections when the AIADMK contested 178 seats in alliance with the CPI, CPI(M) and Gandhi Kamaraj Desiya Congress, while the DMK contested only 117 seats after allocating an equal number of seats to the Congress.

The MDMK, which walked out of the DMK front in a dramatic development, will battle it out against the DMK in 16 constituencies, including the prestigious Harbour, Anna Nagar, Egmore and Tiruchirapalli-one seats.

The Sivakasi constituncecy, where MDMK General Secretary Vaiko is expected to contest, will be the one to watch out as the DMK is likely to give him a tough fight.

While the MDMK will contest 35 seats and the Dalit Panthers of India nine in the AIADMK-led Democratic People Alliance, the Congress and Pattali Makkal Katchi, the key constituents of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance, will contest 48 and 31 seats respectively.

The other DPA allies -- the CPI(M) and the CPI -- will test their strength in 13 and 10 constituencies respectively.

The AIADMK will also engage in a straight contest with the Congress in 35 constituencies, including Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar in Chennai district, Madurantakam, Coimbatore West, Papanasam, Thirumayam, Cheranmadevi and Nanguneri. The ruling party will cross sword with the PMK in 26 constituencies in the northern belt, including Saidapet, Gummidipoondi, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tirutani, Arcot and Tindivanam.

Contrary to expectations, the DPI and PMK -- the friendly parties which have ended up in rival camps -- will lock horns only in the Mugaiyur general constituency.

It may be recalled that DPI General Secretary Thol Tirumavalavan walked into the AIADMK front after PMK founder S Ramadoss' efforts to induct the DPI into the DMK-led DPA proved futile.

The AIADMK will contest in highest number of reserved constituencies at 33, followed by the DMK at 27 and the Congress and the DPI eight each.

UNI

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