Cong announces committee to hold seat-sharing talks with DMK

New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Congress today announced a five-member committee to hold seat-sharing talks with DMK for TamilNadu Assembly elections, due in May.

The committee comprises Union Ministers P Chidambaram andG K Vasan, TNCC chief K V Thangkabalu, Congress spokespersonJayanthi Natarajan and AICC secretary Jayakumar, sources said.

The announcement comes exactly a week after DMK andCongress decided to continue their seven-year-old alliance tocontest the Assembly polls after TN Chief Minister MKarunanidhi met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

The committee will hold talks with a DMK team, which isexpected to be announced soon, on the number of seats to becontested by it, the sources said.

AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, in-charge ofparty affairs in the state, and Union Minister Vayalar Raviare expected to finalise the number of seats with the DMKleadership.

The Congress and DMK entered into an alliance in 2004 andcontested the Lok Sabha elections that year, 2006 Assemblyelections and the 2009 General Elections together.

While Congress is understood to have been demandingaround 80 to 90 seats in the 234-member assembly, DMK isbelieved to allot 60-65 seats.

DMK 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, but admitted that duringnegotiations it will 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 party president," theleader said.

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