Chennai: Decks have been cleared for seat sharing talks between the DMK and Congress with the latter announcing an eight-member committee headed by TNCC president E.V.K.S. Elangovan to hold the talks. AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, who is in charge of Tamil Nadu, in an official communication to Elangovan, announced the "approved committee to undertake the exercise of identifying seats for the Congress party and then to hold negotiations".
Besides Elangovan, the committee comprises Congress Legislative Party leader K. Gopinath, former TNCC presidents K.V. Thangkabalu and M. Krishnasamy, senior leaders D. Yasodha, S. Thirunavukkarasar, Dhanushkodi Athithan and A.P.C.V. Shan-mugam. The committee has given representation to all the senior leaders, with a view to balance the interests of the TNCC president with that of other factions. But, the supporters of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram have not found a place in the panel.
The committee has an unenviable task of persuading the DMK to part with 50 to 60 seats so that all the factions could be accommodated in distribution of party tickets. The Congress obtained 63 seats in the 2011 Assembly elections and won only five. It is said the DMK is ready to give 25 to 35 seats for the Congress this time, as it wants to take on the AIADMK in a majority of the constituencies.