TN polls: Cong, DMK yet to decide on seat-sharing

OUR BUREAU Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 25, 2016

Number crunching Congress leaders holding talks with DMK chief M Karunanidhi (centre) at the latter's residence in Chennai on Friday. On the left are Congress leaders EVKS Elangovan, Mukul Wasnik and Ghulam Nabi Azad, and on the right are DMK leaders Kanimozhi, Durai Murugan and Stalin BIJOY GHOSH

Talks between Ghulam Nabi Azad and Karunanidhi remain inconclusive

Coalition partners DMK and Congress held seat-sharing talks here on Friday for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, but the talks were inconclusive.

A meeting between DMK chief M Karunanidhi and All India Congress Committee general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad failed to finalise the number of seats each party will fight in the elections to be held on May 16.

Poll strategy

“It was only a poll strategy meeting. We are yet to ýfirm up the number of seats,” Azad told newspersons outside Karunanidhi’s residence in Gopalapuram.

The DMK is having discussions with a number of smaller parties. The number of seats each party would fight would be known in a few days, he said.

Karunanidhi’s son and DMK treasurer MK Stalin said the talks with the Congress delegation went off smoothly. . Both the parties spelt out their positions, which they will discuss internally. The Congress will revert, he added.

When asked whether the Congress was given fewer seats than the previous time, Stalin said discussions are still on.

He was non-committal on the smaller parties planning to join the DMK-Congress alliance. “You will know when they come,” he said.

Azad, accompanied by senior party leader Mukul Wasnik and Tamil Nadu Congress chief EVKS Elangovan, arrived at Karunanidhi’s residence at 10.50 am and held talks for over an hour.

The DMK was represented by Karunanidhi and Stalin apart from their party colleagues Durai Murugan and Kanimozhi, who is also the DMK chief’s daughter.

Fewer seats

In the 2011 Assembly election, the Congress contested 63 seats in alliance with the DMK but won only five. This time, the Congress wants the same number of seats while the DMK plans to offer it fewer seats, said sources.

The seat-sharing talks between the two comes after Vijayakant’s DMDK on Wednesday decided to align with Vaiko-led People’s Welfare Front.

He will be the front’s chief ministerial candidate.

Published on March 25, 2016
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