VCK, CPI, IJK given 5 seats in DMK alliance

VCK, CPI, IJK given 5 seats in DMK alliance

The pact was signed between DMK President M K Stalin and VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan at the DMK headquarters on Monday. (Image: ANI/Twitter)

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Monday fast-tracked seat-sharing arrangement with its alliance partners for the Lok Sabha elections by allotting two seats each to VCK and CPI and one seat to IJK.

With this, the party has finalised seat-sharing pact with six parties — the aforesaid three, Congress, IUML and KMDK — and is yet to ink the deal with Vaiko’s MDMK and CPM.

The three agreements were signed separately on Monday between DMK President M K Stalin and leaders of the VCK, CPI and IJK.

While the IJK, a party led by educationist Pachamuthu who owns the SRM group of institutions, will contest on DMK's 'rising sun' symbol, efforts were on to convince the VCK also to fight on the same symbol.

The VCK commands considerable influence among Scheduled Castes in northern Tamil Nadu and the party's presence is DMK's answer to PMK, the party identified with the dominant Vanniyars in northern parts of the state.

DMK has asked the VCK to contest on the rising sun symbol as it is more popular than a new symbol allotted for his party.

"The pact was signed and VCK has been allotted two seats. The seats will be decided later," VCK president Thirumavalavan told reporters after the meeting. Thirumavalavan had already announced that he will contest from the Chidambaram Lok Sabha seat.

The VCK had contested two seats as part of the DMK alliance in 2009 and 2014. It won the contest in 2009 and drew a blank in 2014, like its senior alliance partner.

VCK was part of the "Third Front" during the 2016 Assembly elections and the party sided with the DMK after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

So far, the DMK has allotted 17 seats to its alliance partners — Congress (10), IUML (1), CPI (2), VCK (2), KMDK (1), IJK (1) — and is likely to give another two seats each to CPM and MDMK, leaving 19 seats for itself.

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