CHENNAI: Gearing up for the upcoming assembly general elections, DMK and Congress leaders have started identifying assembly constituencies that may work in their favour. They have also turned to cadres for opinions and suggestions.
Reliable sources said that the DMK has decided to identify favourable constituencies for not only themselves but also their allies in a bid to avoid 11th-hour tensions in seat-sharing. It is learnt that the DMK leadership has requested the Congress state unit to identify a decent number of assembly constituencies that would be favourable for Congress.
According to DMK sources, the party is keen to ensure that all candidates fielded by the alliance emerge victorious.
During the last assembly elections, the Congress managed to win only eight seats out of the 41 allocated to them, a situation that the DMK leadership hopes to avoid this time around.
They have requested the Congress to identify favourable assembly constituencies based on their cadre base, while also placing emphasis on the background of the candidate and the familiarity they command.
This has led to the TNCC president KS Alagiri commencing pre-election work from Tiruppur on Thursday.
He told The New Indian Express, "Our pre-election work will have three phases. First, we discuss with district presidents and booth-level functionaries and we will assign some tasks to them to be fully prepared for the assembly election. For this, we have decided to go to three assembly constituencies per week."
Alagiri said the party's state functionaries will check next month whether they have completed their tasks.
"After that, we will conduct a rally in the assembly constituency to reach out to voters. To identify the favourable constituency for Congress party is also a part of our election work," he added.
On the DMK side, the principal secretary of the party and former minister KN Nehru has been touring the state for the last three months to sort out any disputes among functionaries.
A DMK source said, "KN Nehru is touring only for identifying favourable constituencies and familiar and influential candidates. Because during the 2016 assembly general election, for the first time, DMK witnessed stiff opposition from cadres against the declared candidates. In some constituencies, even the declared candidates refused to contest."
"For example, one SS Rajkumar, brother of former union minister SS Palanimanickam, was declared as a candidate for Orathanadu assembly constituency. But he refused to contest from the seat and the party high command had to name another candidate for the constituency. Similarly, the party changed the candidate for Alangudi assembly constituency in Pudukkottai district following stiff opposition from party cadres in the constituency. The party doesn't want any repeat of this in the upcoming assembly election as it would affect the morale of the cadres," he added.
Another source in the party, who is very close to party leadership, said, "In this upcoming election, the DMK doesn't want to earn the wrath of alliance party cadres. If the alliance party has visible influence in a particular assembly constituency, it would be allocated to them."
However, both parties have drawn their own strategies from their experiences during the last assembly election.