Congress leaders demand more seats to contest in Tamil Nadu assembly election

Chennai, Feb 13(ANI): Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu are demanding more seats to contest in the forthcoming state assembly elections compared to last time in their alliance with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), ruling regional party.

In 2006 assembly elections, the Congress had contested only 48 seats while the DMK contested for 132 seats. The coalition government of Congress and DMK in Tamil Nadu came in governance with a victory of 34 and 99 seats respectively.

A five-member panel of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, Tamil Nadu Congress President K.V. Thangabaalu, All India Congress Committee spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan, and legislator Jayakumar met lawmakers, legislators and the leaders of the state on Sunday at the state head office 'Sathyamoorthy Bhavan' in Chennai.

The panel, which has been appointed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, to discuss and decide on the number of seats and constituencies for the state elections, had met the party members to take their opinion on the list of candidates.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) members in their meeting with the five-member committee informed that the efficient governance at both the Centre and state would give Congress a boost in the state assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

"Today they (five member panel) had a meeting with the seating members of the legislature and also the Member of Parliament individually and discussed with them the election strategy, the winnability of the Congress candidates in respective constituencies and most of the seating members they have informed the committee that they will be in a better position to win the elections because both the Central and the state," said S. Peter Alphones, a congress legislator from Tamil Nadu.

"Both the governments have done a lot of schemes and welfare measures in their constituencies and if they contest again they will have the additional advantages of winning the seats easily and it is for the Congress high command to decide," he added.

There had been rising doubts on the continuation of the alliance between DMK and Congress after the exposure of series of scams. But both the parties confirmed that the seven-year-old alliance would continue.

Yet the seat sharing still remains a bone of contention between the two parties.

Congress has been demanding a share of 80-90 seats to contest, whereas the DMK has agreed on 60-65 seats. (ANI)

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