AIADMK's list of 171 nominees out, constituencies for allies

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PMK, BJP identified (Eds: Adds details) Chennai, Mar 10 (PTI) Eyeing a record straight third term, the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday announced its second list of 171 candidates for the April 6 Assembly polls, renominating most of its heavyweights.

Together with its first list of six candidates, the AIADMK would be in fray in 182 constituencies and its partners the PMK (23) and BJP (20) in 43 while nine more seats are yet to be allocated out of the total 234 segments.

The party allotted five seats to a couple of local outfits but they will contest from its Two Leaves symbol only.

Of the 30-member Cabinet of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, 27 have been renominated, apparently rewarding them for supporting him during the past four years when he weathered many a political storm.

The 2021 Assembly polls will be a watershed election for the AIADMK since this is the first state polls after the demise of its supremo J Jayalalithaa who had led the party to back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2016.

Following the legacy of Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK has now announced seats for most constituencies stealing a march over arch-rival DMK which is yet to release its list of nominees.

Filing of nominations would start on March 12 and end on March 19.

The names of Ministers, G Baskaran, Nilofer Kafeel and S Valarmathi do not find a mention in the list.

Nine more constituencies are yet to be finalised with seat sharing talks pending with Tamil Maanila Congress and smaller allies.

Hence, there is a possibility of some more ruling party nominees including whose name do not feature in the first and second lists getting tickets.

At least 72 MLAs have been renominated and more than 44 dropped which includes former Minister and presently a legislator, Thoppu N D Venkatachalam, and Kallakurichi MLA, A Prabhu.

Former Ministers and Rajya Sabha MPs, K P Munusamy and R Vaithilingam have been nominated.

The AIADMK has also dropped several of its MLAs as their constituencies like Sholingur, Gummidipoondi, Modakurichi, Madurai North and Coimbatore South have gone to allies, the PMK and BJP.

Tamil Nadu Assembly has 234 seats and the state would have a single phase poll on April 6.

Most heavyweights including Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, Deputy Speaker Pollachi V Jayaraman, Ministers S P Velumani, P Thangamani, C Vijayabaskar, C Ve Shanmugam, D Jayakumar and K A Sengottaiyan have been renominated.

Former ministers such as B V Ramana and TKM Chinnayya find a place in the list of candidates.

The PMK is set to contest from Gingee, Mailam, Vandavasi (Reserved), Arcot, Gummidipoondi, Kancheepuram in north Tamil Nadu besides 17 other constituencies.

The BJP would try its luck from 20 segments including Nagercoil, Kolachel and Vilavancode in Kanyakumari district besides the spiritual hub of Tiruvannamalai and Coimbatore South.

Meanwhile, the PMK released the first list of 10 party candidates.

PMK president G K Mani will contest from Pennagaram, as per the first list of candidates released by the party. PTI VGN SA BN BN