Nation Politics 03 Apr 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly ...

Tamil Nadu Assembly elections: Congress may take 32 seats

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | E T B SIVAPRIYAN
Published Apr 3, 2016, 6:22 am IST
Updated Apr 3, 2016, 6:22 am IST
Ghulam Nabi Azad
 Ghulam Nabi Azad

Chennai: Overcoming their differences, the DMK and Congress are understood to have reached an agreement on sharing of seats for the Assembly elections.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is expected to arrive here this week to seal the deal with top DMK leadership.

The Congress could settle for 32 seats as the DMK is adamant in contesting more than 180 seats for the first time in the past one decade. The national party, sources said, demanded nearly 60 seats from  DMK, which after hard bargaining offered a little more than 30 seats to it. “The seat sharing arrangement has almost been finalised and it will be formally announced in a couple of days. The Congress could get around 32 seats in the alliance and the process of identifying the constituencies is underway. This process would end in a couple of day’s time after which the agreement would be made public,” DMK and Congress sources told Deccan Chronicle.

DMK and Congress revived their alliance for contesting the assembly polls in February this year and the parties held their first round of alliance talks on March 25 which was inconclusive. After the talks, TNCC chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan and other senior leaders were summoned to New Delhi by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi where the issue was discussed.

“After discussions, it was decided to accept less number of seats as the alliance has already been finalised. Another reason being less options available before the party. The Congress high command is likely to send its key trouble-shooter Ghulam Nabi Azad for announcing the seat sharing agreement.

Congress sources said he is likely to come to Chennai early this week to meet DMK president M. Karunanidhi. In 2011, Congress  contested 63 seats in alliance with  DMK, but this time the Dravidian party engaged in hard bargaining with the national party citing its reduced vote share in 2014 LS polls and also revival of Tamil Maanila Congress by former Union minister G.K. Vasan.

Meanwhile, Elangovan told reporters in Coimbatore there was no possibility of TMC joining DMK- Congress alliance. He also said  talks with DMK was progressing and the deal would be announced in a couple of days.

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