Congress seals Lok Sabha deal with DMK, gets 9 seats in Tamil Naduhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/congress-seals-lok-sabha-deal-with-dmk-gets-9-seats-in-tamil-nadu-5592990/

Congress seals Lok Sabha deal with DMK, gets 9 seats in Tamil Nadu

Announcing the decision, DMK chief MK Stalin said the Congress will contest in nine parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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Chennai: Congress President Rahul Gandhi is being presented a sword by DMK president MK Stalin at a public meeting after unveiling a life-size bronze statue of late Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi in Chennai on December 16, 2018 (PTI Photo/File)

The DMK on Wednesday struck an alliance with the Congress in Tamil Nadu for the forthcoming Lok Sabha with an aim to checkmate the ruling AIADMK-BJP tie-up in the crucial southern state, which has 39 parliamentary seats.

Announcing the decision, DMK chief MK Stalin said the Congress will contest in nine seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry. “The constituencies (9 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and 1 seat in Puducherry) to be given to Congress will be decided in due course of time after holding talks with alliance partners,” Stalin told reporters.

Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had held discussions with top leaders from Tamil Nadu, including state Congress president K S Alagiri and his predecessor S Thirunavukkarasar. Former Union minister P Chidambaram was part of the consultations.

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In 2009, the Congress had contested 16 seats in alliance with the DMK, but many of the smaller parties were not part of the alliance then. In 2014, the Congress and DMK contested separately.

This time, the DMK-led alliance is expected to include seven other parties — the CPM, CPI, Vaiko’s MDMK, Muslim League, Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi, the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and one Kongu party.

The announcement of DMK-Congress alliance comes a day after the ruling AIADMK and the BJP agreed to contest the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry together along with other NDA allies and sealed a pact in which the BJP will contest five of the 39 seats in the state.