Chennai: The DMK will contest 20 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu as the party closed the seat-sharing negotiations with its eight allies in a rather smooth and dignified manner when compared to the tortuous efforts sensed in the rival camp.
Though in the process, the DMK would be gifting away the remaining 20 seats including the Puducherry seat for the Congress it would be ‘technically’ in the contest at 22 to 25 constituencies as the party has appealed to some of its minor allies to field candidates under its ‘Rising Sun’ symbol and they are yet to respond.
"The DMK will contest 20 seats on its own in the Lok Sabha elections. We have allotted the remaining 20 seats to our allies. The MDMK has been given one Lok Sabha seat and one Rajya Sabha nomination", DMK president M K Stalin told reporters after signing the poll pact with MDMK chief Vaiko at the Anna Arivalayam here on Tuesday. It is likely that Vaiko will opt for the Rajya Sabha seat so as to make available his campaign skills and stage rhetoric across the state.
Stalin also said the party was unable to accommodate the MMK demand for a seat but has sought its support. He said he would share the dais with Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a poll rally on March 13-the venue to be announced later but could most probably be Chennai.
The DMK's announcement on finalisation of alliances has virtually closed the door on DMDK of 'Captain' Vijayakanth-whose wife Premalatha and son Vijay Prabhakar have been making robust claims that leaders of all prominent political parties have been lining up before their house seeking alliance.
The party is expected to announce its poll pact with the AIADMK and climb onto the dais of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at suburban Vandalur on Wednesday, where the mega alliance would formally launch its joint election campaign to take on the rival DMK-Congress team.
After inking the alliance pact with MDMK and the CPI(M), Stalin said the process of identifying the constituencies for all the partners would begin Thursday. A team led by DMK treasurer Durai Murugan will hold talks with the allies.
A very significant factor in the poll pact is that the DMK has got commitment from all its partners that they would support its candidates in the by-elections to 21 Assembly seats in the state, which have been vacant for some time now. Stalin considers it very important to win as many seats among these 21 as possible, since the ruling AIADMK would have to win at least 10 of them to save the Edappadi Government. The DMK has 88 MLAs in the House of 234.
In the DMK camp, the Congress has got the lion's share among the allies-nine in TN and one in Puducherry. This is in keeping with Stalin's assertion that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi would be the Opposition's Prime Ministerial candidate in this LS poll. The two Left parties, besides the VCK, have been given two seats each, while one seat each has been allotted to MDMK, IJK, IUML and the KMDK.
On the rival side, the AIADMK has firmed up alliance with the BJP (5 seats), PMK (7 plus one RS) and Puthiya Neethi Katch (one). The DMDK is demanding parity with the PMK while the AIADMK is pressing it to accept five LS seats. If Captain's family agrees finally, that would leave the AIADMK with 21 seats. The NR-Congress in Puducherry has got the lone LS seat in the Union Territory....