Tamil Nadu is all set to go to polls on April 18, 2019 for the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies across the state. Puducherry will also go to polls on the same day as Tamil Nadu. The Lok Sabha Elections will take place in a single phase in the state and the Union Territory.
As per the Election Commission of India’s announcement on Sunday, political parties in the state are expected to file their nominations between March 19 and March 26. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 29. Results will be announced on May 23 with counting of ballots set to take place on a single day.
Along with the Lok Sabha elections, the EC has also decided to hold bye-polls for the 18 assembly seats out of 21 seats that have been lying vacant for some months now. While 18 MLAs were disqualified by the Madras High Court in October last year under the Anti Defection Law for declaring their support to AMMK’s TTV Dhinakaran, MLAs M Karunanidhi (DMK, Thiruvarur), AK Bose(AIADMK, Thirupparankundram) died in office. Hosur MLA and Minister Balakrishna Reddy was disqualified following his three-year imprisonment in a criminal case. The Chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo announced that bypolls will be held only for 18 constituencies on April 18. Ottapidaram, Aravakurichi and Tirupparamkundram assembly bye-elections will not be held on April 18 since there are cases pending related to these assembly seats in the court.
The ruling party in the state, the AIADMK, has entered into a ‘mega alliance’ with the national party at the centre, the BJP. While AIADMK will contest from 20 seats and BJP from five, critic-turned-alliance partner PMK has been allotted seven parliamentary constituencies. Puthiya Tamilagam and Puthiya Needhi Katchi will contest from one seat each. NR Congress will contest the lone seat of Puducherry. The seat-sharing talks, which took place over February and March, also saw the AIADMK garner assurances of support from the BJP, PMK and other parties for the 21-state bye-elections that are due in the state.
DMDK is reportedly in the final stages of alliance talks with the AIADMK and an announcement is expected anytime soon.
RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran is also in the poll fray, making the fight a three-cornered contest between the AIADMK, the DMK and his AMMK.
The DMK, which is Tamil Nadu’s opposition party, meanwhile has joined hands with its long-time ally Congress. DMK has given 10 seats to Congress including the seat in Puducherry and another 10 seats to its other allies. In its combine are CPI(2), CPI(M) (2), VCK (2), MDMK (1), IUML (1), KMDK (1) and IJK (1). Thus, DMK will be contesting only from 20 seats in the upcoming elections. DMK has, however, asked all its allies to contest from the party’s ‘Rising Sun’ symbol. This request has been accepted by IJK and KDMK while Thirumavalavan’s VCK and Vaiko’s MDMK parties are still deliberating the decision.