Parleys with PMK and DMDK on seat sharing

Amid talks of discontent on the side of the MDMK, the BJP on Friday began formal alliance talks with the PMK and the DMDK. PMK president G.K. Mani, along with senior party leaders, visited BJP headquarters here on Friday afternoon. Addressing a press conference, he said a formal announcement on seat sharing would be made by Monday.

In the evening, BJP leaders visited the DMDK office. The leaders said it was a courtesy visit to thank the DMDK for agreeing to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

However, a highly placed source in the BJP told The Hindu that clarity had emerged only in the case of the DMDK, which had been offered 14 seats in the alliance. A source close to MDMK general secretary Vaiko confirmed that he was not too happy with the offer of seven seats that had been made by the BJP. The PMK was also pushing for an extra seat more than the eight that had been offered to it. “They are stressing on nine seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry. Since AINRC in the Union Territory was keen on contesting there, we have asked the PMK to hold talks with N. Rangasamy-led party,” said a senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity. When contacted, an AINRC leader said the party was holding informal talks with the BJP and it had indeed been communicated that the PMK was interested in the lone seat in Union Territory.

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