Chennai

In first round, DMK offers 18 seats to Congress, 4 to VCK

DMK president M.K. Stalin with TNCC president K.S. Alagiri. The DMK is said to have offered 18 seats to the Congress.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The DMK is learnt to have offered 18 Assembly seats to the Congress in the first round of negotiations for the 2021 election. Another round of talks could not take place as the Congress leaders are busy with former party president Rahul Gandhi’s election tour. It may resume in a day or two.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), which held talks with the DMK on Monday, could not arrive at an agreement because the offer did not match the party’s expectations. The DMK is said to have offered four seats to the party. Confirming the development, leaders in the three parties told The Hindu that they hoped to finalise the seat-sharing pact soon.

“We are not able to go ahead with the next round as our leaders are busy with Rahul Gandhi’s tour,” said a senior leader, adding that the Congress was not ready even for 20 or 21 seats. “The onus is on the DMK. If the Congress leaves the alliance, the DMK will be under compulsion to explain that it has not come to any deal with the BJP,” said a senior leader.

Congress leaders said Mr. Gandhi’s tour in the Kongu region and the southern districts was a huge success, and the Congress votes would play a role in deciding the outcome in the election.

Likewise, during the meeting with the DMK leaders, the VCK pointed out that it was allotted 10 seats in the 2011 election. “We have travelled with the DMK, except in the 2016 polls when the VCK was part of the People’s Welfare Front. We are with the DMK for ideological reasons and not just for electoral gains,” party sources said. The VCK is particular that the existing partners of the DMK should be retained to ensure that the secular votes are not split. The two parties will meet again on Tuesday.

The DMK appears be adopting the formula of allotting two Assembly seats per Lok Sabha seat won by the allies. Eventually, it may revise this to three Assembly seats per Parliamentary seat won. Though the DMK contested in 178 constituencies in the 2016 election, it had only the Congress and the IUML in its company. The Congress was allotted 41 seats, but won only five. Now, the DMK alliance has two communist parties, the VCK, the MMK and the MDMK.

On Tuesday, the MDMK delegation met the DMK leaders and conveyed their expectations. The two communist parties will also participate in the talks on Tuesday.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 12:01:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/in-first-round-dmk-offers-18-seats-to-congress-4-to-vck/article33966959.ece

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