Congress’ committee to discuss seat sharing: Karunanidhi

Monday, January 31, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Congress party will set up a committee to discuss sharing of seats for the ensuing assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, DMK president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said Monday.

Speaking to reporters here after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Karunanidhi said: “The alliance with the Congress continues. The Congress party has decided to form a committee to discuss details about constituencies and the numbers. The party would announce the committee members. Following that our alliance work would continue.”

According to him, the talks with Gandhi were satisfactory.

Karunanidhi was accompanied by his daughter and party MP Kanimozhi, Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and senior party leader T.R. Baalu during the meeting that lasted about 30 minutes.

According to Congress sources, the party was keen to contest about 75 seats of the 234-member assembly.

Karunanidhi earlier met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who assured him that the central government would look into various issues raised by him like the attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, the state government announced Monday.

He also took up the issue of help from the National Disaster Relief Fund and the permission to extend the Chennai Metro Rail.

Karunanidhi arrived here Sunday on a three-day visit. “I am here for poll-related discussions. I will be meeting the prime minister and the Congress chief to discuss the seat-sharing formula,” he said on his arrival here.

“I will hold talks on the number of seats that the two parties will contest and the list of constituencies that each side will like to put up a candidate,” he added.

He also said PMK will be part of the DMK-led front apart from VCK, Puratchi Bharatham and the Muslim League, besides the Congress.

However, reacting to Karunanidhi’s statement, a senior PMK leader in Chennai told IANS on condition of anonymity: “Our party is yet to decide on the alliance matter. Perhaps Karunanidhi made that declaration as a strategy to make a hard bargain for seats with the Congress leadership during his Delhi visit.”

Citing PMK founder S. Ramadoss’ statement denying firming up of the alliance, the PMK leader said: “Our party has a general inclination to join the DMK alliance to fight this assembly election. But that does not mean we have decided.”

“The conditions may change even at the last moment as we are also getting signals from AIADMK,” he said.

–Indo Asian News Service

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