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Cong leaders lobbying informally for preferred seats with ‘friends’ in DMK
Seat sharing committees of the DMK and the Congress might not have met even once to finalise the constituencies, but Congress leaders vying for Lok Sabha tickets did not waste any time in getting their wish fulfilled.
A few Congress leaders vying for ticket have already established links with their friends in the DMK and even probable allies to get the constituency of their choice.
If information trickling out of Sathyamurthy Bhavan were to be believed, former Congress whip Peter Alphonse, whose friendship with the DMK leadership was no secret may have ‘reserved’ Tirunelveli seat. Peter was understood to have already spoken to DMK president MK Stalin in this regard. Similar request was put forth before Stalin by immediate past TNCC president Su Thirunavukkarasar for either Tiruchy or Ramanathapuram seat, despite ally leader Vaiko planning to make a bid for the seat.
Even a long-forgotten leader like former Namakkal MP Rani has opened channels with the DMK district secretary K Ponmudi to get Villupuram (reserve) seat. Former MP Manicka Tagore has already requested MDMK leader Vaiko to back him for Virudhunagar seat.
Karti Chidambaram and Vishnu Prasad were other players who have bid for Sivaganga and Arani Parliamentary seats respectively. Mohan Kumaramangalam, who was appointed working president along with four others recently, has made the moves for his native Salem constituency. Even sitting MLAs S Vijayadharani (Vilavancode) and H Vasanthakumar (Nanguneri) have plans for Kanniyakumari Parliamentary seat, the most favoured seat of Congressmen in the state.
Former MP JM Haroon, a hot favourite for Theni, state Congress working president K Jayakumar for Tenkasi (reserve) seat and former MP Viswanathan for Kancheepuram are other names doing the rounds in the Congress circles for the meagre nine seats allotted to it by the DMK. However, the Congress, if at all DMK was willing to part with the seat, could face stiff competition from CPI whose leader D Raja has personally put a word to Stalin in this regard.