DMK to negotiate seat-sharing with Cong | delhi | Hindustan Times
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DMK to negotiate seat-sharing with Cong

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2011 19:36 IST

PTI
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DMK will soon constitute a high-level team to hold negotiations with Congress on the number of seats and the constituencies to be contested by both the parties in Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, due in May.

The two parties had yesterday decided to continue their seven-year-old alliance after TDP chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi met Congress president Sonia Gandhi here.

"Like Congress, we will also constitute a team of leaders to hold negotiations with them (Congress team)," Karunanidhi told reporters here today, wrapping up his three-day visit to the national capital.

Reaffirming Congress' commitment to continue alliance with TDP, Gandhi had told Karunanidhi that her party will set up a committee to chalk out modalities for seat-sharing. The Congress committee is likely to be announced in a day or two. Congress sources said the party, which had contested 48 of the 234 seats in the state, appears to be in a mood to demand about 100 and may settle down for about 75 seats.

The Congress' demand for more seats is understood to be based on the perception that the DMK's bargaining may have been weakened by the 2G spectrum scam.

The Congress may also like a share in power if the alliance is voted back to power for another term, the sources said. The DMK is also said to be prepared for some hard bargaining.

Party sources said the alliance was never in doubt but Karunanidhi wanted a public message of reaffirmation by his visit and meeting Gandhi. Congress and DMK had entered into an alliance in 2004 and contested the Lok Sabha elections that year, the 2006 Assembly elections and the 2009 general elections together.

A senior Congress leader from Tamil Nadu said the party expected at least 80 to 90 seats, but admitted that during the negotiations it may come down to 65. "We hope to get at least 65 seats. We also want the party to be part of the government if the alliance comes to power. But that decision has to be taken by our president," the leader said.