September 20th, 2011
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Seat sharing hits a dead end

deadendChennai: Seat-sharing talks between the AIADMK and the CPI (M) hit a roadblock on Monday with the latter urging Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa to hold back the list of candidates she had announced for local body polls.“We would like to bring to your attention that holding back the list of candidates till the seat-sharing talks are over alone will strengthen the bond between the alliance partners,” CPI (M) State Secretary G. Ramakrishnan said in a letter to Ms. Jayalalithaa.

The AIADMK released the list of candidates for all the 10 Mayoral posts in the State on September 16. According to the CPI (M), the party was given to understand that the list was subject to change. But, the subsequent release of candidates for 124 municipalities (there are 125 municipalities in the State) and 70 town panchayats prompted Mr. Ramakrishnan to write to Ms. Jayalalithaa.

A few hours after the letter was released to the media, Ms. Jayalalithaa announced another list of candidates for 61 town panchayats. Ramakrishnan described as “not a correct approach,” the release of the names of candidates for local body polls even while the talks were on. “This will create confusion among cadres of both the parties. As far as we are concerned, we are prepared for smooth talks to identify the seats.”

Recalling the sequence of events that led to the present stalemate, Mr. Ramakrishnan said that the list of mayoral candidates was released even as the CPI (M) was invited for talks with the AIADMK leadership that evening. “When we asked about it, the AIADMK leaders said that the list was not final and would be subject to the outcome of talks. But, another list of 52 candidates for municipalities was released. The CPI (M) team held talks with the AIADMK leaders again on September 18. Now, the second list of candidates for municipalities has been released, besides 70 candidates for town panchayats, though we are supposed to have another round of talks on September 20.”

Asked about the CPI’s stand, a party leader said, “Though the release of the lists has created disappointment among our party cadres, we have continued to hold talks with the AIADMK to sort out differences.”


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