A high-level round of intense negotiations failed to break the deadlock in seat-sharing talks between the Congress and DMK on Wednesday night. While the Congress, which began with the demand for 65 seats, is willing to settle for 62, the DMK does not want to go beyond 55 seats, sources said.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC leader in charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu, flew down to hold parleys with DMK president M Karunanidhi at the DMK headquarters, but the session was inconclusive. “The talks will continue tomorrow,” Mr. Karunanidhi told reporters late in the night.

Mr. Azad, who was expected to seal a pact as the emissary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, left after more than two hours of discussions with the DMK president.

Earlier rounds of negotiations between a five-member Congress panel and the DMK's election committee failed to make much progress on seat-sharing. The parties are also discussing the question of sharing power.

After Mr. Azad left, the Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam (KMK) was allotted seven seats in the DMK-led alliance.