National » Tamil Nadu

Updated: February 27, 2011 02:02 IST

DMK, Congress ‘agree' on power-sharing

B. Kolappan
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi with TNCC chief K.V. Thangkabalu during a meeting in Chennai. File Photo: K. Pichumani
The Hindu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi with TNCC chief K.V. Thangkabalu during a meeting in Chennai. File Photo: K. Pichumani

Although the talks between the Congress and the DMK got stuck on the issue of the number of seats, leaders of both parties reported “forward movement” on the issue of power-sharing.

A senior Congress leader involved in the talks said the DMK had “informally” agreed to the proposal for power-sharing.

However, while the DMK does not want a pre-election formal agreement on the issue, the Congress is adamant that a firm commitment on a coalition government be made right now.

“We want them to declare this (power-sharing) openly,” another Congress member said.

The toughening of the Congress position on seat-sharing for the Assembly election was made possible by the full backing of AICC president Sonia Gandhi, and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, it is learnt.

On Friday, when leaders of the DMK and the Congress came to the negotiation table, the Congress team, led by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, made it clear that his party would not settle for anything less than 90 seats.

The DMK leaders were not prepared for the “substantial increase” as they claimed to have only 53 seats to offer.

The Congress leaders expressed their inability to accept the offer and left Anna Arivalayam without meeting Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

“We have been asked by Sonia Gandhi not to climb down from any of our demands. She, in fact, shot down the proposal of one of the five leaders of the committee for a more pragmatic approach during talks,” one of the members of the Congress seat-sharing committee said.

Another member said the high command was upset that the DMK leadership sealed the pact with PMK before finalising seat-sharing with the Congress.

When the issue was raised during the talks, one of the DMK leaders argued that they wanted to pre-empt the PMK from switching over to the AIADMK alliance. Mr Chidambaram reacted strongly to this explanation. “Do you take us for granted because we will not switch camps,” he is reported to have asked.

Though the Congress has taken a strident line, party leaders feel that the alliance with the DMK was unlikely to take a turn for worse. “We cannot leave the alliance now.

This is not the time for experiment. If we were really interested in a third front we should have made preparations at least six months ago,” a leader said.

The committee members would brief Ghulam Nabi Azad, in-charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu.

I strongly feel that TN Cong has taken the right decision to help Tamil Nadu people. Surely there will be a better life for TN people.

from:  Prajam
Posted on: Mar 6, 2011 at 08:06 IST

I am confused same as any individual in Tamil Nadu, If none is good should I vote? If I don't vote then someone else is going to proxy me. If I invalidate it, I will be wasting tax payers money (I understand these politicians waste a ton, but I don't want to do the same). I only wish Vijaykanth had stood alone and there is someone new to give a try.

from:  Mohan
Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 at 20:40 IST

Regardless of the combinations that finally win the elections in TN, it is hoped that the New Tamil Year which dawns on 14 April -named Kara- should witness a sea change in the political forces that will caputure power and ensure that there is a fair and corruption less rule in the state. What is hoped for Tn also is prayed for Kerala, Puduchery and West Bengal too.

from:  S Subramanyan
Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 at 18:40 IST

Congress should understand that they are the only all purpose oxygen for DMK and this is the time that Congress works out strategy to eliminate Dravidan parties viz DMK and ADmk in Tamilnadu. If Congress works out merger with DMDK and other small parties, the Congress is sure to ensure comeback. The people of tamilnadu are literally looking out for a corruption free government, which definitely is not viable with the presence of DMK and AIADMK.

from:  M.A.Srinivasan
Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 at 12:51 IST

The Congress image has already been spoiled seriously, in view of Mega Scam of 2G allegedly manipulated by Raja, who has been telling that PM is aware of and approved it. And PM also has admitted partly and commented that he believed Raja. This error of omission of the PM is the root cause of this Mega Scam, which should have been averted if the PM has written back immediately to discuss with him before any decisions. The people of TN by and large have understood the whole issue. Secondly the bad image of Family Rule of DMK in Tamilnadu is becoming a wave in the mass, which will certainly over-rule the so-called - Welfare scheme of free TV, Housing and one Kg rice etc. Even with DMK alliance, the possibility today for Congress is that they can win not more than 20/25, whatever the seats they settle with DMK. It would be better to try come out of the alliance and form a third from with DMDK or even try for alliance with AIADMK, which has not yet closed the door for Congress!

from:  Rajiah John
Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 at 10:59 IST

A combination of Congress, DMK & PMK will be the better choice than the AIADMK, MDMK & Vijayakanth Party.

from:  David Ponraj
Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 at 04:12 IST

Both the Congress and DMK are joined as Siamese twins this time. Given the compulsions at the Centre, the two can neither part company nor work in harmony at the State level The DMK is in bad odour in Tamil Nadu because of its involvement in massive corruption by its Central Ministers and incompetence at the State level because the ailing Karunanidhi is wheel chair bound, his sons are on a power play and administration at a standstill. The Congress too is afflicted by charges of massive corruption, a feckless Manmohan whose writ is non existent and is unable to tackle the raging inflation that has broken the backs of the Congress' supposed friend, the 'aam aadmi'. It is pretty clear that no matter what seat sharing formula is finally worked out, the two parties have a deep distrust of each other and will campaign separately and discordantly. Jayalalitha has used this imbroglio to her advantage by bringing under her wing all other parties (barring the PMK which managed to extract substantial seat concessions from the DMK much to the annoyance of the Congress) and thus will mount a formidable challenge to the DMK Congress alliance. Not that her dismal performance and massive coruption during her three earlier terms as CM gives much room for optimism ! One can only sympathize with the plight of the voter in Tamil Nadu !

from:  Padmanabhan
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 21:28 IST

It seems now that the Congress party has no other choice but to align only with DMK. Perhaps, the Congress must have failed to frame a longterm strategy of its own to build the party in Tamil Nadu. No wonder, what the party has sown in the last few months/ years, it now reaps in the form of a bad harvest. The so called road map Mr.Rahul Gandhi has laid out has produced only excitements among the workers but not the adequate momentum to stand alone in the election. It is a pity that the party, despite its good work in many states and at the Centre failed to build up the party in such way that it can face the election on its own or at least lead the third front. Anyway, nothing is lost now. The leadership needs to introspect as to whether to align with any Dravidian parties or to follow a policy of Go it Alone (GiA). The choices are limited. The first and still the better option under the prevailing circumstance would be to align with DMK and accept 55 to 60 seats and also a written or a gentleman understanding of berth in the ministry, in case the DMK depends upon the Congress party for the required numbers to form the ministry. If these two demands are not met by the DMK, better leave the DMK. Second option would be to follow the policy of GiA and stand in as many seats as possible. Third choice -not a better one but no other way- to go for an alliance with DMDK. and stand in about 118 seats. This would also mean jumping from fraying pan to fire. Yesterday it was MGR, then Dr. Jayalalithaa, then Dr. Karunanidhi and now Mr.Vijayakanth. DMDK entry into the legislative chamber will bring more harm to the Assembly than good to the Tamil Nadu. The alliance with DMDK may produce a solace in the short run but in the long run it is like an alliance with DMDK or AIADMK. Mr.Vijayakanth is no way better than others All the Dravidian parties, including the DMDK , to a lesser extent PMK alos belong to the same breed ,if not have same the DNA group.

from:  R. Bhakther Solomon
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 14:04 IST

Will the TN congress ever understand the tactics of the DMK leadership? The TN people are so fed with the corruption and scams which has brought very bad name to TN, that they would wipe out this DMK- led alliance. In order to save face and get reasonable MLA seats, the TN Congress should get out of this alliance , right now. Will the TN congress do this?

from:  Ken Sundaram
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 05:30 IST
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