DMK chief M K Stalin on Wednesday announced that the Congress will contest nine seats in Tamil Nadu and one seat in Puducherry as part of the seat-sharing arrangement for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Following a discussion between Congress and DMK leaders, Stalin announced that the details of seats the Congress and other alliance partners will contest will be announced later.
Asked about the number of seats the DMK will contest, Stalin said the party will contest the seats left after seat-sharing with other partners is finalised.
AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, who is in charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu, and party MP and general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal were among the senior Congress leaders who took part in the discussions. Durai Murugan and other senior leaders represented the DMK.
While it is yet to be announced how many seats the other alliance partners — Vaiko’s MDMK, CPM, CPI, Thol Thirumavalavan’s VCK and IUML — will contest, it is learnt that MDMK and CPM may get two seats each. The CPI, VCK and IUML may get to contest one seat each.
Meanwhile, the DMK leadership is learnt to have agreed to Vaiko’s demand to contest from Trichy instead of Virudhunagar, from where he has earlier contested. According to DMK sources, MDMK may also get to contest from Erode and CPM may get Madurai and Nagapattinam, DMK sources said. The CPI is likely to contest from Tenkasi, while multiple sources said VCK may get the Chidambaram seat from where party leader Thol Thirumavalavan is likely to contest.
DMK-Congress alliance hopes big
The large alliance of the DMK, Congress, Left and other parties that yield influence in Dalit and Muslim communities clearly give them an upper hand in southern and central Tamil Nadu, where these parties have strongholds. In western and northern Tamil Nadu, the alliance partners will hope that strong anti-incumbency factor against the state government and Centre, discontent among minority voters against AIADMK for their alliance with BJP, and role of rebel AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran will help their prospects.
A senior Congress leader said all top leaders of the party in the state, including E V K S Elangovan, will contest from party strongholds. He said Kanyakumari, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Tirupur, Cuddalore, Ramanathapuram are among the seats they are likely to contest from. “All senior leaders, including former TNCC presidents E V K S Elangovan and S Thirunavukkarasar and current TNCC president K S Alagiri, have been told to be ready for candidature. Either P Chidambaram or his son Karti will contest from Sivaganga,” the leader said.
While IUML may get the Vellore seat, DMK sources said it has been agreed that they will contest on DMK’s symbol.
Another partner in the alliance may be the E R Eswaran-led KNMDK that yields influence over Gounder community.