“I and the DMK would like to have a secular government at the centre,” he told reporters.

Stating that the DMK would play a role in any secular front formed in a democratic way, Karunanidhi said the two communist parties - the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the CPI have not approached his party for an alliance.

The two communist parties recently announced their exit from the alliance with the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. The DMK has fielded eight of its sitting Lok Sabha members while the others are new.

Karunanidhi said the list may not be the final one as there might be one or two changes. Of the 35 DMK candidates announced, 13 are lawyers, three are doctors and one is an engineer.

The youngest among the 35 candidates is 26-year-old businesswoman H. Pavithravalli, an MBA graduate who will be contesting from Erode constituency. She is one of the two women candidates in the fray.

The oldest candidate is 70-year-old lawyer Pon. Muthuramalingam, who will contest from Theni constituency.

Of the 40 constituencies (39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry), the DMK has allotted five seats in Tamil Nadu to its four allies.

The party has retained 2G scam-tainted former union minister A. Raja and former union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran as its candidates. They will contest from Nilgiri and Central Chennai constituencies.

Asked about the cases against them, Karunanidhi said the cases filed against them were now “shaky” and the situation was such that there were no witnesses to prove the charges.

The other sitting Lok Sabha members of the DMK who have been retained are T.R. Baalu, T.K.S. Elangovan, S. Jagathrakshakan, R. Thamaraiselvan, S. Gandhiselvan and A.K.S. Vijayan.Whiel Baalu, who was elected from Sriperumbudur last time, will now contest from Thanjavur, Jagathrakshkan, who won from Arakonam will now contest from Sriperumbudur.

Karunanidhi said the party's manifesto will be released on Tuesday. The DMK president's eldest son and former union minister M.K. Alagiri has decided not to contest the Lok Sabha polls. His daughter, Kanimozhi was elected to the Rfajya Sabha last year with the Congress support.


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