Congress and DMK on Monday finalised their seat-sharing agreement for the May 16 Tamil Nadu assembly election. Leaders of both parties signed an agreement finalising 41 seats for Congress.
The deal was struck after a meeting between DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at the former’s Gopalapuram residence on Monday morning. The constituencies, however, will be finalised after further negotiations between the leaders of the two parties.
The bilateral discussions to identify the constituencies each of them would contest will begin later.
“We have signed (an agreement) that allots 41 seats to Congress,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said after inking the deal with DMK chief M Karunanidhi.
“I’m sure under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi at the national level and with DMK chief Karunanidhi’s leadership at the state level, our alliance will be able to form the government in Tamil Nadu,” Azad said.
The Congress had demanded 63 seats, the number allotted to it in 2011. But the DMK offered only 41 seats.
Azad said the rest of the seats would be shared among the DMK and other allies. “Of course, the major share, the number (of seats) will go to DMK but there are other allies also and DMK has already tied up with other political parties,” he added.
“This time it is the turn of the DMK-led government and I am sure under the leadership of Karunidhiji, the party will be able to form the government in Tamil Nadu,” he said, adding, all partners would work sincerely to ensure victory.
Pointing to DMK leader Stalin, he said “here is the young leadership, and we have signed 41 seats.” Stalin referred to discussions held earlier and said, “it has been decided today that Congress will contest 41 seats as part of the DMK front and an agreement has been signed.”
DMK treasurer and former deputy chief minister MK Stalin expressed confidence that the alliance will defeat the J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK under this arrangement. “Today, we decided that the Congress will contest from 41 seats. We have signed an agreement for this. The alliance will win as the people are vexed, and want a change,” he said.
Earlier, the DMK concluded seat sharing arrangements with three parties -Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the MMK and the SSP.