Chennai

For DMK-led alliance, it’s a 20-20 split

The DMK on Tuesday completed the seat-sharing exercise with its allies for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, cumulatively allotting its partners 20 of the 40 Parliamentary constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The DMK will field candidates in 20 seats.

In the final tally, the Congress has got the lion’s share of 10 seats, including the lone Puducherry seat. The DMK has allotted two seats each to the CPI, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and the CPI(M). The other allies – MDMK (also gets a RS berth), IUML, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi and Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi – get one seat each.

On the contrary, the ruling AIADMK has given seven seats to the PMK, besides a Rajya Sabha berth, five to the BJP and one each to the Puthiya Tamilagam and New Justice Party, while it is yet to finalise deals with the DMDK and TMC (Moopanar).

The KMDK and IJK have agreed to contest on the DMK’s ‘Rising Sun’ symbol. Announcing the sealing of alliances, DMK president M.K. Stalin told journalists that it would be up to the MDMK and VCK to decide on its request to field candidates on its symbol.

Sources said that the MDMK is most likely to accept the request and make a formal announcement after its general council meeting on Wednesday. Party founder Vaiko is also likely to be the candidate for the Rajya Sabha berth.

On Tuesday, the first party delegation to arrive at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters, was the one from CPI(M), led by its State secretary K. Balakrishnan.

The party, which had initially demanded three seats, climbed down and signed an agreement to contest two seats, besides extending support to the DMK in the 21 Assembly constituencies where bypolls are due. The team from MDMK came next.

Though the DMK had held talks with the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), a Muslim party that has been friendly with the Dravidian major in recent years, it expressed its inability to allot any seat to the outfit.

Opportunity

Mr. Stalin said he had promised to provide an opportunity to the MMK to contest elections in the future.

“The leaders of the MMK met me and we could not allot any seat. We have asked them to support our alliance,” he added.

MMK leader M.H. Jawahiruallah said his party cadres were hurt by the denial of a seat.

The party was keen on contesting from Vellore constituency, but the DMK has decided to field Kathir Anand, son of party treasurer Duraimurugan, from there.

The IUML will enter the fray in Ramanathapuram, another constituency with a substantial Muslim population.

Mr. Stalin said he would address a mega public rally in Virudhunagar on Wednesday and district leaders of alliance partners would participate in the meeting.

He also confirmed his participation in next week’s meeting in Tamil Nadu with AICC president Rahul Gandhi. “TNCC president K.S. Alagiri invited me for the meeting and I have agreed to participate,” he said.

Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/for-dmk-led-alliance-its-a-20-20-split/article26441826.ece

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