DMK is unable to finalise seat allotment to VCK
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday announced April 24 as the date of Lok Sabha polls for Tamil Nadu. The parties attempting to stitch alliances, however, continued to confront hurdles in seat-sharing, with some finding it hard to even openly disclose who the constituents of their respective fronts were.
While the AIADMK-Left alliance is in doldrums, the DMK was unable to finalise seat allotment to Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi. Even though the Dalit party, which had asked for three reserved and two general constituencies, has come down from its claim and sought two constituencies — Chidambaram and Villupuram — allotted for it in the 2009 polls, the DMK leadership is not ready to give more than one seat.
Another ally, the Indian Union Mulsim League, was allotted the Vellore constituency after a lot of persuasion.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, was expected to declare its electoral pact on Wednesday, as last-minute reversals saw party leaders getting into a huddle on Tuesday night. Sources said a unilateral announcement by BJP leaders on Tuesday about a press conference to reveal the alliance irked the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), which insisted that no formal disclosure be made without its consent.
In consequence, the press conference failed to transpire on Wednesday. Instead, BJP Tamil Nadu president Pon Radhakrishnan and senior leader L. Ganesan rushed to New Delhi to meet party president Rajnath Singh, but he was away in Chhattisgarh.
A highly-placed source in the party told The Hindu that the deadlock in seat-sharing continued. As a last-ditch effort, the BJP may relinquish seats in its pocket to accommodate the DMDK.
“The problem is with the numbers. The meeting with Mr. Singh has been planned to see if we could solve the issue by giving a seat or two from our share. We have also requested the PMK to reconsider their demand as the DMDK is adamant on at least 16 seats,” said the leader on condition of anonymity. DMDK founder Vijayakant discussed the issue with party leaders at a meeting at the party headquarters here on Wednesday.
The BJP’s request was confirmed by PMK sources, who said the party’s administrative council would meet in Tindivanam on Thursday to discuss the situation. This would be chaired by party founder S. Ramadoss. “There is an overlap in preference of constituencies with the DMDK. These are Arani, Arakonam, Krishnagiri, Salem and Villupuram. The BJP leadership asked us to make adjustments to make the alliance possible,” said a senior PMK functionary.
Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader confirmed that the party high command had initiated parleys with the DMDK leadership over the last two days. There have been attempts to approach the DMK also. “The response has not been very sanguine. But we are trying our best. They have asked us to wait till Saturday,” said a Member of Parliament.