A day after the AIADMK had sealed the electoral pact with the BJP and PMK allotting them seven and five Lok Sabha seats respectively, the DMK and Congress announced their alliance in Tamil Nadu. DMK president MK Stalin said the constituencies to be contested by the Congress would be announced later
Chennai: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Wednesday finalised the seat-sharing exercise with key ally Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, allotting nine seats in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry. This decision came a day after arch rival AIADMK allied with the BJP and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
Announcing the pact at the party headquarters 'Anna Arivalayam', DMK president MK Stalin said the constituencies to be contested by the Congress would be announced later on the conclusion of seat-sharing exercise with other allies.
The DMK had already appointed committees to steer the alliance process, Stalin said flanked by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretaries Mukul Wasnik, in charge of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, KC Venugopal, and Tamil Nadu Congress chief KS Alagiri.
The work on seat-sharing with other allies will begin from Thursday, PTI reported.
There are a total of 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and one in the union territory of Puducherry, ruled by the Congress.
In the 2014 elections, the Congress went alone but failed to win none as the DMK which had led an alliance with some smaller parties.
The AIADMK won 37 seats while the BJP and PMK one each in Tamil Nadu with the lone Puducherry seat going to AINRC.
Describing the alliance between Congress and DMK as a long term relationship since the days of late Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi, Venugopal said "we are very happy," about the seat sharing agreement.
Asked about the other parties with which the alliance will be firmed up, Stalin said DMK has "decided to hold talks with friendly outfits" which have been working together with it "on people's issues" for the past about two years, PTI reported.
He was referring to parties, including Vaiko-led MDMK, CPI and CPI(M).
Also, the IUML, a long-time ally of the DMK, and VCK, which fought the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with it, are all set to be part of the alliance being put in place by the Dravidian outfit.
Asked if DMDK led by actor-turned-politician Vijaykant would be a part of the alliance, he said if that happened it would be informed to the media.
The AIADMK, on Tuesday, sealed the electoral pacts with the BJP and PMK allotting them seven and five Lok Sabha seats respectively while indicating more parties might join the front.
After the conclusion of seat sharing with allies, the DMK will contest in rest of the constituencies, Stalin said.
"We did not hold talks secretly in a hotel, but it was conducted transparently at our party headquarters here," he said taking a dig at AIADMK which concluded talks with allies in a star hotel here.
To a question on the AIADMK-led alliance describing itself as "people's welfare coalition," he alleged that "people call it as an alliance for money."
The DMK-Congress pact came after the conclusion of a final round of talks on Wednesday preceded by conversations between the top leadership of the two parties.
DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi held talks with the Congress president Rahul Gandhi days ago in Delhi on seat-sharing.
After the DMK quit the UPA in 2013, the Congress had to face the 2014 Lok Sabha polls alone in Tamil Nadu.
DMK, which had faced the polls in alliance with smaller outfits, drew a blank despite contesting 35 seats. Congress had lost deposits in 38 constituencies.
(With PTI Inputs)
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Last Updated Feb 21, 2019, 10:07 AM IST