Congress is expected to pitch for a higher number of seats during talks with DMK for the Tamil Nadu assembly elections knowing fairly well that the Dravidian party was on the backfoot due to the 2G Spectrum scam and the anti-incumbency factor in the state.
The arrest of former telecom minster A Raja as well as the anti-incumbency factor in the state have given enough ground for Congress to extract more from its alliance partner in the 234-member House.
Sources said that the party which is currently seeking 80 to 85 seats in the state is confident of getting anything over 65. In the last election, Congress had contested only 48 seats.
The talk within Congress circles is that the DMK leadership knows pretty well that it cannot get enough number of seats to form a government there unless Congress votes are transferred to it in constituencies where the national party is not contesting.
"If we contest lesser number of seats, it will be difficult to convince the party workers. We have not even participated in the government so far. So we have to get a good number of seats to satisfy them... and then there is also an anti-incumbency factor against the DMK government," a senior party leader said.
The leader felt that Congress should share power in the state if the alliance comes to power after the elections.
There is also a view in the party that though this election is not going to be an easy affair for the alliance, the principal adversary J Jayalalitha's AIADMK "has also not been able to put its act together".
On the issue of alliance with PMK, the Congress leader said that a view was yet to be firmed up on the issue but there was nothing wrong in a tie-up with the party if it demands "reasonable" number of seats.
"PMK has its influence in at least nine Parliamentary seats. But an alliance with them depends on how reasonable is their demand," the leader said. He said that PMK was asking for 50 seats.
Congress had yesterday declined to comment on DMK chief M Karunanidhi's reported remarks that party president Sonia Gandhi was not in favour of PMK being a part of their alliance for the upcoming assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.
The party leader felt that PMK would have to join the front on the DMK's terms as the AIADMK is close to a deal with Vijayakanth's DMDK.
If the PMK does not come into the alliance, Congress is expected to get a "large" number of seats during the seat allocation with the DMK.