New Delhi: Congress in Tamil Nadu is
understood to have demanded 75 seats from the DMK in the
ensuing Assembly Elections and has placed a proposal for share
in power if the alliance emerges victorious.
Highly-placed sources said hard bargaining was on from
both sides on seat-sharing issues with the Congress demanding
75 Assembly constituencies as against the 48 seats it
contested during the 2006 polls.
However, the DMK is said to be ready to give only 53
as the ruling party plans to contest at least 140 seats. Last
time, it contested 124 seats. But, Congress, according to
sources, is insisting on clinching a deal with 75 seats.
The DMK-Congress team has so far held two rounds of
talks on seat-sharing in the past 10 days, but no headway has
been made with both sides sticking to their known stands.
The five-member Congress committee headed by Home
Minister P Chidambaram Tuesday met party chief Sonia Gandhi and
briefed about the two rounds of talks with the DMK. During the
meeting, Gandhi is understood to have told them to continue
with the talks.
Besides Chidambaram, Shipping Minister G K Vasan,
party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan, TNCC chief K V
Thangkabalu and MLA Jayakumar are members of the committee.
Asked about the talks with DMK, Natarajan said: "Talks
are progressing in a very cordial atmosphere. We will try to
get the best during seat-sharing (talks) keeping in mind our
support among the people. We are a national party."
She hoped that the talks will end soon.
Thangkabalu also spoke in similar vein saying there is
no deadlock in seat-sharing talks between the Congress and
"Two rounds of talks have been held so far. The third
round will be held soon," he said.
The sources said the party has made three demands --
share in power, constitution of a coordination committee and a
Common Minimum Programme -- in a proposal submitted to the DMK
However, the sources said, there has been no response
from DMK on these proposals.
DMK has already allotted 31 seats to PMK and 10 to VCK
headed by Lok Sabha member Thol Thirumavalavan.