After breaking alliance, DMK says ball in Congress court

DMK pulled out of the UPA government citing the Congress` increasing demands for seats for the April 13 Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections.

Chennai: Even as the DMK has decided to pull out from the United Progressive Alliance government citing the Congress` increasing demands for seats for the April 13 Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections, it said it was open to continuing discussions with Congress for a poll tie-up.

Speaking to a news agency, DMK spokesman TKS Elangovan said: "We have called off the alliance with Congress as it demanded 63 seats of its choice after agreeing for 60 seats earlier. If the Congress comes back to us with an alternate plan, then we are open an alliance."

According to him the negotiations have to be fair but Congress did not play it fair till now.

Expressing similar views, senior DMK leader and MP TR Baalu told reporters that if the Congress accepts 60 seats, then his party would reconsider its decision.

The DMK move followed the Congress` insistence on contesting 63 of Tamil Nadu`s 234 Assembly seats while DMK was willing to concede only 60.

Congress’ guarded response

The DMK`s decision to pull out of the UPA government appears to have come as a bolt from the blue for the Congress, which still feels all is not lost and negotiations could continue.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi gave a guarded reaction on the development, keeping alive the hopes of a settlement on seat sharing even at this stage.

"There is no need to comment on it now. This (has happened) in the middle of negotiations and unnecessary press comments will muddy the waters," was the refrain of Singhvi.

Indicating that the party has been caught off-guard on the issue, a senior party functionary, who did not wish to be identified, said, "We are not going to react until the DMK officially communicates to us the decision."

DMK is the first ally of the Congress led UPA to pull out of the ruling coalition at the Centre.

With 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha, it is the third largest constituent of the UPA after Congress and the Trinamool Congress.

IANS/PTI

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