Chennai Congress has begun to finalise its list of candidates for the 63 seats it has been allotted for the assembly polls, as part of a patch-up deal with the ruling DMK.
On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Congress president KV Thangkabalu called on DMK patriarch and chief minister M Karunanidhi and the two leaders formally signed the seat-sharing agreement.
Now the Congress will draw up the list of the seats it wants to contest apart from the 48 it fought in 2006. The seat-sharing panels of the two parties are scheduled to meet on Thursday to finalise the constituencies the Congress would contest.
Speaking to press persons after signing the deal, Thangkabalu said: "The choice of the constituencies will be decided by the five-member committee of each party."
On the Congress side, the panel is headed by home minister P Chidambaram and for the DMK side it is led by deputy chief minister MK Stalin.
Congress sources say all senior leaders in the state, like Chidambaram, union shipping minister GK Vasan and even the Youth Congress are pressing for their own quota of seats.
"There is lot of enthusiasm among the partymen and for every seat there would be many aspirants. The candidates would be finalised smoothly," said a Congress leader. But he admitted that there were worries whether the cadre of the two allies would be able to work together.
The DMK cadre is unhappy at the turn of events. "But once Kalaignar has given a direction, we will work hard to ensure the victory of the Congress too," said a senior DMK official who applied for party nomination.
Political commentator Cho Ramaswamy is certain at the ground level "we will see many more problems between the cadre of the two parties in the run-up to the elections".