Nation Politics 05 Apr 2016 Hard bargain over Ch ...

Hard bargain over Chennai and south seats likely

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 5, 2016, 6:36 am IST
Updated Apr 5, 2016, 7:13 am IST
DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad after the seat sharing discussion in Chennai on Monday. (Photo: DC)
 DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad after the seat sharing discussion in Chennai on Monday. (Photo: DC)

Chennai: DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin on Monday did not comment on the type of the next government to be formed by the two allies and merely said this alliance would drive away the AIADMK regime from power and achieve success in the Assembly elections.

Contrary to speculations that the Congress had accepted 32 seats, the national party made a hard bargain for a higher number of seats and finally settled for 41. The DMK was ready to offer only 30 seats to the Congress and had to make a climb down to retain the Congress in the front.

Except the March 25 meeting between Azad and DMK leaders and the final signing of the pact, telephonic conversation between Chennai and New Delhi played a major role in the negotiations. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s insistence for more seats benefited the Congress, while DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi who was in constant communication with Azad played a major role in clinching the deal, a Congress functionary said.

The Congress which started the bargain at over 80 seats was under compulsion to check the entry of former Union minister G.K. Vasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress getting into the DMK alliance and perform better than its national rival BJP which is leading a front in Tamil Nadu.

The number of seats the national party is contesting will be lower than the previous two Assembly elections. It was allocated 63 seats in the 2011 Assembly elections and 48 in 2006.

The two allies still have to cross the hurdles in seat identification in Chennai and Southern districts. In the city, the Congress is demanding three seats among Velachery, T. Nagar, Mylapore, Anna Nagar, Villivakkam, Thiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar and Royapuram. The DMK is willing to give Royapuram and a hard bargaining is in store for the other seats. The two parties will also have to iron out differences in seat identifications in southern districts, where the Congress wants more seats and some of the seats the Congress is demanding in the northern region where the party is perceived to be weak.

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