DMK, Congress poll pact talks inconclusive

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CHENNAI - The ruling DMK and its ally Congress Sunday held inclusive seat-sharing discussions ahead of the ensuing assembly elections and decided to meet again at a later date.

Speaking to reporters here, state Congress chief K.V. Thangkabalu said: “We will have another round of talks based on the discussions today (Sunday).”

“We will inform our headquarters about the discussions and based on their (central leaders) advice, the next round of discussions will be held,” said Thankabalu.

He said the party’s top command will take a decision on sharing of seats between the two parties.

Following DMK chief and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi Jan 31, both parties set up a committee to discuss the seat sharing.

The Congress panel comprises of Thankabalu, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, Rajya Sabha member Jayanthi Natarajan and state legislator Namakkal Jayakumar.

The DMK panel includes Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami, Minister for Law, Courts and Prisons Durai Murugan, Education Minister K. Ponmudy and Lok Sabha member T.R. Baalu.

The DMK and the PMK Friday signed an agreement to jointly fight the assembly elections, with the PMK being allotted 31 seats.

Earlier, the Congress panel met party members from the state in parliament and the state assembly, leaders at the district level and youth wing and heard their views.

The Congress cadres want a larger slice of the seats and a share in the government if the DMK-Congress combine retains power.

The Tamil Nadu assembly has 99 DMK members, 57 from AIADMK, 34 from the Congress and 18 from PMK. The house also has 15 Communist legislators and three members from the MDMK.

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