With weeks to go for the national elections, the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu on Friday released the list of constituencies allotted for each of the nine partners. The alliance would be called Secular Progressive Alliance, it announced.
The DMK, which will contest 20 seats, has taken its old stronghold Chennai's North, South and Central constituencies, besides Tuticorin where there is speculation MK Kanimozhi could contest to make an electoral debut. Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran is likely to fight from Central Chennai, his seat in 2004 and 2009. The other former Telecom Minister, A Raja, is likely to get back he represented in 2009.
The Congress that contests in ten seats has been allotted Sivaganga, Trichy, Kanyakumari, Virudhunagar, Theni, Karur, Krishnagiri, Tiruvallur, Arani and neighbouring Puducherry. Sivaganga is former Union Minister P Chidambaram's home turf where his son Karti P Chidambaram is likely to contest again. Virudhunagar is the home of Manik Tagore, Rahul Gandhi's confidante and he too is likely to test fortunes here again.
MDMK has got Erode where veteran leader Ganesamoorthy is likely to be fielded. The Rajya Sabha seat the party has been offered could take Vaiko to the upper house.
VCK has been offered Chidambaram and Villupuram, both reserved for SCs. Party Chief Thirumavalavan and senior leader Ravi are likely to fight in these seats respectively.
CPI has been given Tiruppur and Nagapattinam, which is dominated by factory workers and farm labourers.
The CPM has announced writer and Sahitya Academy Award winner S Venkatesan for Madurai and PR Natarajan for Coimbatore, both seats known for industrial workers and farm labourers.
The IUML would contest from Ramanathapuram, where there is a sizeable Muslim electorate. KMDK will try its luck in Namakkal, known for a concentrated Gounder population. The IJK would fight in Perambalur. Party Chief TR Pachamuthu, educationist and media baron is likely to contest.
In the 2014 polls, the AIADMK had won 37 of the 39 seats. The DMK and the Congress which fought separately drew a blank. The PMK and BJP won one each.
This is the first election after the death of former chief ministers and Tamil Nadu's tallest leaders J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi and an acid test for the leadership of O Panneerselvam and Edapaddi K Palaniswami in the ruling AIADMK and MK Stalin in the DMK who has already proposed the name of Congress president Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate.
The ruling AIADMK is likely to announce constituency details in a day or two.
TTV Dhinakaran's AMMK and actor Kamal Hassan's Makkal Needhi Maiam are likely to fight alone and the state is likely to witness a four-cornered contest.