Congress, DMK finalise seat-sharing for TN polls
DMK President M K Stalin and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.IANS (File photo)

Congress, DMK finalise seat-sharing for TN polls

Chennai, March 7, 2021

The Congress and the DMK on Sunday finalised a seat-sharing deal for the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.

The deal was signed between DMK President M K Stalin and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President KS Alagiri.

Congress will get a total of 25 seats. The party will contest from the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat where a bye-election will take place following the death of H. Vasanthakumar, the sitting MP.

Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan is the BJP candidate from the seat.

In the 2019 general elections, Vasanthakumar had defeated Radhakrishnan by a margin of more than 3 lakh votes.

The Congress wanted 45 seats, but the DMK was adamant about offering a maximum of 21.

Highly placed sources in the Congress told IANS that a late night call by Rahul Gandhi to MK Stalin contributed towards clinching the deal, with the Congress getting 25 Assembly seats and a possible Rajya Sabha seat.

The Congress has also been in direct talks with Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) for a third-front initiative after the DMK was not willing to budge.

While speaking to IANS, AICC General Secretary (Organization) K C Venugopal said: "We were certain that the Congres-DMK seat sharing will end smoothly as we are in a political alliance for the past several years."

However, the DMK's second rung leaders are not happy with the deal.

MK Swaminathan, Chennai, South secretary of DMK, while speaking to IANS said: "The Congress don't have any grassroot presence in Tamil Nadu and providing 25 seats is too much. However DMK leadership has done this for the larger interest of a secular coalition and it is for the Congress to capitalise on the benevolence of the DMK and win maximum."

Meanwhile, TNCC President Alagiri told IANS: "The seat sharing between the Congress and DMK has went off smoothly. We are old allies and we have settled the matter. Of course during seat sharing, there will be certain issues and there was nothing more than that. The allegations that Congress and DMK were falling apart is totally wrong."

IANS

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