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AIADMK to interview Lok Sabha poll aspirants on March 11, 12

Party leaders will hold interviews for candidates from 20 constituencies on Monday and the remaining 19 constituencies on Tuesday.  

AIADMK to interview Lok Sabha poll aspirants on March 11, 12
PM Modi with TN Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and PMK founder Ramadoss during a public rally of the BJP-AIADMK-PMK alliance in Chennai on March 6, 2019. (PTI Photo)

CHENNAI: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will conduct face-to-face interviews with candidates aspiring to contest 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu on March 11 and 12.

Party leaders will hold interviews for candidates from 20 constituencies on Monday and the remaining 19 constituencies on Tuesday.

The AIADMK finalised its seat-sharing pact with the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) on Sunday. Led by actor-turned-politician Vijaykant, the DMDK will contest on four Lok Sabha seats in the state. 

"It has been decided to allot four seats to DMDK. In the bypolls to 21 Assembly constituencies, the DMDK will support the AIADMK," Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK Coordinator  O Panneerselvam told reporters, as quoted by news agency PTI. The constituencies to be contested by the allies will be announced after consultations, he added.

The ruling AIADMK already has an alliance in place with the Bharatiya Janata Party, Pattali Makkal Katchi, Puthiya Tamizhagam and All India N.R. Congress. PMK is set to contest on seven seats, BJP on five, Puthiya Tamizhagam from one. The single seat from Puducherry, a Union Territory, will be contested by AINRC.

After days of dilly-dallying, the party officially announced their electoral pact with DMDK. The announcement came soon after the Election Commission declared the schedule of Lok Sabha election 2019. 

Opposition DMK has also entered an alliance with Congress, VCK, IUML, MDMK and CPI-M and CPI.

Tamil Nadu, which has 39 LS seats, will go to polls on April 18. The state bypolls, also scheduled on April 18, will be held in 18 Assembly constituencies of Poonamallee, Perambur, Tiruporur, Sholinghur, Gudiyatham, Ambur, Hosur, Pappireddipapatti, Harur, Nilakkottai, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Manamadurai, Andipatti, Periyakulam, Sattur, Paramakudi and Vilathikulam.

Of the 18 seats, 16 fell vacant following the disqualification of ruling AIADMK MLAs loyal to TTV Dhinakaran. The bypoll to Tiruvarur seat was necessitated by the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi while the Hosur seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Minister K Balakrishna Reddy after his conviction by a court in over a decades-old criminal case.

The results for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls would be announced on May 23.