PMK back in DMK front, gets 31 seats

 Alliance sealed: PMK founder S Ramadoss meets Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai on Friday. PTI “During my recent meeting with Sonia Gandhi in Delhi it was decided that the DMK and Congress will continue their electoral alliance for the Assembly polls. As a continuation of that process, it has now been decided that the PMK will also join the DMK alliance,” Karunanidhi told reporters after inking the seat-sharing agreement at his Gopalapuram house here. The PMK was alloted the same number of seat by the DMK in the 2006 assembly polls.

Earlier this month, Karunanidhi had said that taking the PMK, having an uncanny ability to switch sides before every election, on board this time might not be possible as Congress president Sonia Gandhi had reservations about  taking the PMK back in the light of it  ditching her party ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. 

The PMK’s differences with the Congress were ironed out following Anbumani Ramoadoss’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi two days back. “My son met Madame Sonia Gandhi two days ago,” confirmed the PMK leader after the seat sharing deal.“I am very happy with the agreement,” PMK’s founder-leader S Ramadoss told Deccan Herald as he came out of Karunanidhi’s residence after the agreement.

The DMK is said to have assured a Rajya Sabha seat for Anbumani Ramadoss, former union health minister. Exuding optimism about the strengthening of the allice with the DMK, Ramadoss said the DMK-Congress-PMK- dalit outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi- combination “will emerge victorious in the coming Assembly polls”.

Ramadoss had earlier bargained for 45 out of the total 234 seats in the State Assembly. He said he did not think that settling for the same number of seats it had got in the 2006 polls meant a dip in the PMK’s bargaining power. “Our bargaining power has neither increased nor decreased,” he quipped.

Political experts say that the OBC Vanniyars-backed PMK is still force to reckon with in the Tamil Nadu’s northern districts. By sealing the electoral deal with the PMK, which till Thursday was a virtual non-starter.

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