Special Correspondent

AICC secretary coordinating the parleys

Pondicherry: Although the delegation of the Pondicherry State unit of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been holding talks almost every day with the PCC president P. Shanmugham and also the Congress Election Committee members here for two weeks now to share the wards and the posts of chairpersons of the municipal councils to field its candidates, no definite picture emerged till Sunday. The PCC office was buzzing with another round of talks between the Congress and the DMK on Sunday. There was also an eager expectation every time the talks were held on the part of the rank and file of both the parties to know the outcome of the deliberations. The election committee has as its other members the Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, the special invitee of AICC V. Vaithilingam (Industries and Power Minister of Pondicherry), V. Narayanasamy MP and host of others including a delegate from Karaikal.

The DMK delegation headed by the former Chief Minister and convenor of the State unit of the party R. V. Janakiraman and its legislators held discussions for nearly one hour with Mr. Shanmugham and others on Sunday in a bid to decide the wards where the DMK could field its candidates in Pondicherry and Oulgaret municipal and commune panchayat wards. The discussions also revolved around the posts of chairpersons of these two municipalities. No consensus could, however, be reached between the two parties in respect of municipal bodies in Pondicherry region.

Already the DMK had fielded its candidate in Karaikal Municipal council on Saturday, the last day to file papers. In the meanwhile the AICC secretary P. Sudhakar Reddy is camping in Pondicherry since Saturday and has been coordinating the efforts of the Congress for smooth understanding and finalisation and sharing of the wards among the constituents of the DPA. Mr. Sudhakar Reddy was also present at the discussions on Sunday too. He told The Hindu later that the talks were proceeding in a cordial and smooth atmosphere. He also said that there was no threat to the unity among the alliance partners. The final picture would emerge in course of time. He said that there was still time to file nominations for the second phase of poll covering Pondicherry and Oulgaret municipalities and the Villianoor commune panchayat. (Last date to file nominations for the second phase of poll is June 14). Mr. Shanmugham returned from Karaikal on the night of Saturday after holding talks with the local Congress functionaries.