DMK-PMK clinch poll deal; PMK allotted 31 seats

Chennai, Feb 18 (PTI) Ending a month-long uncertainty,the DMK and PMK today clinched an alliance for the comingTamil Nadu Assembly polls under which the ruling party''sjunior partner has been allotted 31 Assembly seats.

The deal was finalized at a meeting between Tamil NaduChief Minister M Karunanidhi and PMK founder Dr S Ramadosshere on a day when the DMK first family-owned Kalaignar TV wasraided by CBI over the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Karunanidhi, announcing the accord at the end of thenearly 90 minute meeting with his former ally said the twoparties had decided to fight the elections jointly.

A beaming Ramadoss said his party had been allotted 31seats and also a Rajya Sabha seat.

He exuded confidence that the DMK-led alliance which alsohas Congress in it, would "sweep" the polls.

The poll-talks between the DMK and PMK had come to anabrupt end with Congress President Sonia Gandhi reportedlyexpressing her reservations over the presence of Ramdoss-ledparty in the alliance during her recent meeting withKarunanidhi in New Delhi.

As a damage control excercise, former Union HealthMinister and Ramadoss'' son, Dr R Anbumani, called on Gandhi atDelhi yesterday when she reportedly gave her nod for admittingPMK into the DMK-Congress combine.

The PMK, known for changing sides during every elections,had contested 31 seats in the 2006 Assembly polls in alliancewith the DMK and won 18 of them.

The DMK snapped its ties with the PMK in 2008 afterRamadoss gave "zero marks" to DMK for governance. In 2009 LokSabha polls, PMK contested seven seats in Tamil Nadu andPuducherry from the AIADMK-led platform but drew a blank.

Besides, the two parties bitterly fought the Pennagaramby-polls last year in which the DMK won and PMK came second.

The party will be the third largest constituent in theDMK-Congress combine.

Meanwhile, the Congress is yet to officially intitiatepoll talks with the DMK though it has repeatedly asserted thatthe alliance between the two parties is firm.

TNCC president K V Thangkabalu, after meeting Union HealthMinister Ghulam Nabi Azad, also in-charge of party''s TamilNadu affairs, had announced that they would initiate talks bythe week-end.

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