Nation Politics 26 Mar 2016 DMK-Congress talks b ...

DMK-Congress talks begin: No seat pact yet

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | N RAVIKUMAR
Published Mar 26, 2016, 6:31 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2016, 6:31 am IST
DMK which contested less than 135 seats in the previous two Assembly polls, wants to field candidates in a majority of seats.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad meets DMK president M. Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai on Friday. (Photo: DC)
 Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad meets DMK president M. Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai on Friday. (Photo: DC)

Chennai: As senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad completed the first round of seat sharing talks with DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, the two parties have to sort out many problems including identification of seats in South Tamil Nadu, besides the number of seats.

Azad who met Karunanidhi at the latter's Gopalapuram residence here said the talks were cordial and it will take a few more days to work out a deal. The major issue is the big gap in the number of seats demanded by Congress and the seats offered by DMK.

 

The Congress obtained 63 seats in the 2011 Assembly elections and the DMK is said to have offered less than half of the allocation in the previous Assembly polls. The Congress is demanding above 50 seats as it is the only major ally of DMK and there is a large number of seats to be shared after DMDK leader Vijayakanth has joined the PWA alliance.  

On the other hand, the DMK which contested less than 135 seats in the previous two Assembly polls, wants to field candidates in a majority of seats. Besides, it also wants to take on AIADMK in as many as seats as possible, since a weaker party could be easily blown away by the ruling party. The Congress won only five out of the 63 seats last time and its polling percentage in 2014 Parliamentary elections was just above four per cent.

 

Besides, identification of constituencies also poses problems since Congress is relatively strong in southern districts. The party crossed the five per cent vote share in 55 Assembly segments in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Out of this, 34 segments lie in southern districts, where DMK too wants more seats. Besides, the party has done well in 11 segments in the delta districts, but the present strength is unknown as the Tamil Maanila Congress leader G.K. Vasan, who has formed his own party, has good support in the area.

The party has over five per cent votes only in seven constituencies of western Tamil Nadu as per 2014 Lok Sabha poll results when it contested alone. Besides, the Congress had polled above five per cent only in three Assembly segments in the north-Tiruttani, Sholingur and Ranipet. But, the party is seeking some of the seats like Sriperumbudur where it has not performed well. Such seats where the Congress is asking even without a good support base will be another problem during negotiations.

 

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