He expresses happiness over allocation of 31 seats

PMK leader S. Ramadoss on Friday expressed happiness over the allocation of 31 Assembly seats and promise of support for a Rajya Sabha seat by the DMK-led alliance, saying the number was justified because the party could make a big difference in favour of the front.

“Everyone tried to write off the PMK after its defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. But, we proved our strength by coming second in Pennagaram Assembly by-election while the main opposition AIADMK was not able to retain its deposit,” Dr. Ramadoss told The Hindu.

The quick finalisation of seat-sharing between the DMK and the PMK came as a surprise because Dr. Ramadoss' original plan was only to invite Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for his grandson's marriage. On Thursday night former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss had met AICC president Sonia Gandhi, who paved the way for PMK's inclusion in the alliance. “The Congress leadership wanted me to meet Ms. Sonia and I was immediately given appointment,” Dr. Anbumani said.

Dr. Ramadoss said Mr. Karunanidhi was in a very happy mood throughout the discussion, which lasted two hours.

“Everyone in the DMK alliance is happy about our inclusion. The Congress leaders in the state were very keen that we join the front. Viduthalai Chiruthikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan called to say that his 20-year dream of contesting elections alongside the PMK would at last become a reality,” he said.

The PMK leader, known for latching on to the winning combination but who faltered in the choice of ally for the 2009 elections, said while his party could ensure the AIADMK's victory in several constituencies, the AIADMK's votes were not transferred to the PMK. This resulted in the PMK's defeat in all seven constituencies it contested. The “Vanniyar mobilisation” he had achieved by his State-wide tours will come in handy for the DMK alliance in the elections, Dr. Ramadoss said.

“Even now media predicted we will get only 18 or 20 seats. They don't know our strength. Along with the VCK, we can tilt the scale in favour of the alliance in 100 constituencies,” he claimed.

Party sources said the DMK began the negotiations offering 28 seats, but Dr. Ramadoss stuck to his position that the party's share should not be less than the 31 seats it had fought last time, besides a Rajya Sabha seat.