DMK, Cong to continue alliance for TN polls: Karunanidhi

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Ending any doubts, DMK and Congresstoday decided to continue their seven-year-old alliance tocontest the forthcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and toset up a committee to thrash out the modalities ofseat-sharing.

With just four months left for the Assembly elections inthe state, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who arrived hereyesterday on a 3-day visit, met Congress chief Sonia Gandhiand discussed the political situation in the state.

"I met Sonia Gandhi for 45 minutes. As a result, theDMK-Congress coalition is continuing," he told reporters atthe Tamil Nadu House here.

The meeting, which was scheduled to be held in theafternoon took place in the evening, and the decision tocontinue the alliance ended all speculation about any riftbetween the coalition partners in the wake of the 2G spectrumscam which saw A Raja forced to quit the Union Cabinet.

Karunanidhi said a committee will be formed to discuss thenumber of seats and the constituencies to be contested by bothparties.

"A committee will be constituted. It will discuss themodalities for seat-sharing. The committee will decide theseats and constituencies of both parties," he said after themeeting, during which DMK Parliamentary Party leader T RBaalu, Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran and MP Kanimozhi werepresent.

The DMK chief said the committee members will be soonannounced and it will start discussing the modalities.

The members of the committee will be made public soon, hesaid. After seat-sharing talks are over the coalition will beready for the polls, which are due in May, he said.

The Congress and DMK had entered into an alliance in 2004and contested the Lok Sabha elections that year, the 2006Assembly elections and the 2009 general elections together.

The decision comes a day after Karunanidhi announced thatPMK will be part of the alliance, but PMK founder S Ramadosssaid his party has not yet taken any decision on the alliancequestion.

Asked about Ramadoss''s statement, Karunanidhi saiddiscussions were on and both the parties have not taken adecision yet. .

During the meeting with Gandhi, Karunanidhi is understood to have apprised her about the situation in the state.

While Congress is understood to have been demanding around80 to 90 seats in the 234-member assembly, DMK is believed toallot 60-65 seats.

The sources said hard bargaining is expected from theCongress side this time as the party is part of the alliancesince 2004.

A senior Congress leader from Tamil Nadu said the partyexpected at least 80 to 90 seats from the state, but admittedthat during the negotiations it would come down to 65.

"We hope to get at least 65 seats. We also want the partyto be part of the Government if the alliance comes to power.

But that decision has to be taken by our President," theleader said.

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