Cong, DMK to sign poll pact on Wednesday

Last Updated 19 February 2019, 16:42 IST

The Congress will contest nine Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and one in the Union Territory of Puducherry in the mega-alliance led by the DMK for the Lok Sabha polls.

The deal was clinched during a meeting between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and DMK MP Kanimozhi, also the step-sister of party president M K Stalin, in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

The formal announcement and signing of the pact will take place at the DMK headquarters here on Wednesday evening.

"We are happy with the number of seats that we have got," Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K S Alagiri told reporters after the meeting with Gandhi.

Though he did not reveal the number, sources told DH that DMK agreed to part with 10 seats – 9 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry – for the Congress.

The Congress had contested the same number of seats in an alliance with DMK in 2004 and won all of them.

"The pact will be formally signed on Wednesday between Stalin and Alagiri. The negotiations for constituencies will begin a little later," a senior leader, privy to seat-sharing discussions, said.

Having the agreement with the Congress finalised, the DMK will now launch talks with other partners — CPM, CPI, VCK and IUML.

The DMK wants to contest in at least 23 seats and will allot the remaining seats for its partners.

The DMK, which had proposed a 7+1 formula was insisting that the Congress accept it, changed its stand and agreed to give 10 seats on Tuesday morning after the PMK joined the AIADMK front.

The PMK was demanding six seats from the DMK alliance but had also launched parallel talks with the ruling dispensation.

The Congress and DMK had announced their alliance for the Lok Sabha elections last year and Stalin had become the first ally to project Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the combine’s prime ministerial candidate.

(Published 19 February 2019, 15:53 IST)

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