Tamil Nadu: Congress strikes deal with DMK, will contest from 41 seats

  • KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Apr 04, 2016 12:10 IST
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad negotiates with DMK chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Gopalapuram, Chennai. (PTI photo)

The Congress will contest from 41 seats in the upcoming Tamil Nadu polls, as part of a seat-sharing agreement hammered out with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

The deal was struck after a meeting between DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at the former’s Gopalapuram residence on Monday morning. The constituencies, however, will be finalised after further negotiations between the leaders of the two parties.

The Congress had earlier threatened to go it alone in the polls if the DMK did not budge from its stand of granting it just 30 seats, as opposed to the 63 seats it got in the 2011 general elections. However, Karunanidhi relented during the talks and raised the number to 41.

Read: Seat-sharing impasse clouds Congress-DMK alliance in Tamil Nadu

After the agreement was inked, the two alliance partners jointly announced the development outside Karunanidhi’s residence.

“Under the leadership of Karunanidhiji, we had two meetings. We have signed a deal, granting 41 seats to the Congress. I am sure, that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi at the national level, and Karunanidhiji at the state level, we will be able to form the government. The AIADMK has not been in power for two consecutive terms in the last 20 years. This time, it’s the DMK’s turn to form the government under Karunanidhiji’s leadership,” Azad said.

DMK treasurer and former deputy chief minister MK Stalin expressed confidence that the alliance will defeat the J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK under this arrangement. “Today, we decided that the Congress will contest from 41 seats. We have signed an agreement for this. The alliance will win as the people are vexed, and want a change,” he said.

Stalin, however, clarified that there would be no sharing of power if the alliance were to emerge victorious.

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