DMK finalises seat-sharing deal with seven allies in TN
- Addressing a state conference for its cadres on the outskirts of Trichy, Stalin said a DMK government will give ₹1,000 every month to housewives and create a million jobs every month.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin on Sunday finalised the contours of an alliance with seven partners, including the Congress, and announced sops for people in a 10-year vision plan if the coalition comes to power after the April 6 polls, saying the days of the ruling AIADMK were numbered.
Addressing a state conference for its cadres on the outskirts of Trichy, Stalin said a DMK government will give ₹1,000 every month to housewives and create a million jobs every month.
“We aim to lift 10 million people out of poverty,” Stalin said after announcing that the DMK will fight 170 of the 234 assembly seats with an aim to get a simple majority on its own. Stalin agreed to allot 25 assembly seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat to main ally Congress. The Kanyakumari seat fell vacant after the death of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar last year.
Stalin said he aspired to bring Tamil Nadu among the top three agricultural states in terms of cash crops. He promised two million concrete houses, piped drinking water supply and broadband connectivity for all households in villages.
Asked if his party was satisfied with the number of seats allotted by its ally, Congress in-charge for Tamil Nadu Dinesh Gundu Rao said the only aim was to ensure the victory of the secular front led by the DMK. The Congress had initially asked for 40 seats and the number is one of the lowest the party is contesting in the southern state for nearly two decades.
With this, the DMK has allotted 48 seats from its share to parties in the coalition (CPI, MDMK, VCK, IUML, MMK) with talks pending with the CPI(M) and a few smaller parties. Talks between the DMK and the Congress hit a roadblock as the national party wanted at least 30 seats, having initially sought 40, with the DMK unwilling to budge.
“This election isn’t just for a change of government but for the DMK to remain in power continuously in Tamil Nadu,” Stalin said while revealing his vision which he said was prepared in consultation with economists, educationists and experts.
The high-voltage conference mobilised more than a 100,000 cadres who gathered on the outskirts of Trichy near the Samayapuram toll gate at a 350-acre venue covered in red carpet. Stalin entered with fireworks as a team of DJs blared his campaign song as he went on a one-kilometre ramp walk waving to the crowd.
Trichy being a stronghold of the DMK is represented by MLA and party principal secretary KN Nehru and has had several such conferences in the past. “But this is the biggest I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said veteran leader Durai Murugan.
“It’s good that they’re focussing on issues like education, rural development, water supply. The highlight in his vision is the ₹1000 scheme for housewives. But we don’t know how feasible it is for around 2.8 crore ration cards in the state...,” said political commentator Sumanth Raman