A pre-poll alliance between the Congress and DMK in Tamil Nadu is on the verge of collapse over seat sharing.
The Congress is demanding 63 seats, the share it got in the 2011 assembly elections that the two parties fought together.
But sources say the DMK is willing to concede only 25-30 seats, arguing that the Congress had won just five seats in the 2011 polls and that its vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was a mere 4%.
The polling for the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly will be held on May 16. The votes will be counted on May 19.
The talks between DMK chief M Karunanidhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad last week failed to break the deadlock. State Congress chief EVKS Elangovan rushed to Delhi on Wednesday for discussions with central leaders.
Congress sources told HT that the party will settle if the DMK offered 50 seats but is willing to fight on its own. It has kept ready a list of candidates on all 234 seats.
The Congress is also of the view that the DMK needs the alliance more than it does given the declining popularity of the southern party. The DMK faced a rout in both the 2011 state polls and the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Besides, the southern party is bearing the brunt of internal feud between Karunanidhi’s sons MK Alagiri and MK Stalin. “DMK’s poll prospects look dim while AIADMK
appears to be on a strong wicket,” a Congress functionary said. “In such a scenario, why should we succumb to any pressure tactics?”
The hard bargain by the Congress also follows the decision by DMDK chief captain Vijayakanth who has joined hands with Vaiko-led People’s Welfare Front. “DMK-led alliance is no longer a winning combination,” another Congress leader said.
However, Karunanidhi, 91, and a section in the Congress are said to be in favour of continuation of the alliance and trying to work out a “compromise” formula.