Cong-DMK stalemate continues, SP joins the fray

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Manmohan Singh and M Karunanidhi
New Delhi, Mar 7: The seat-sharing impasse between UPA allies DMK and Congress is likely to be decided either way on Monday, Mar 7. While DMK has withdrawn support to the Manmohan Singh government, the Samajwadi Party has come forward to give Congress a strength of position and in the process a heightened stand to negotiate seat-sharing deal in Tamil Nadu.

There are reports that the six Cabinet ministers of DMK in the Manmohan Singh will call it quits on Mar 7. In the political circles, it is being seen as desperate act of brinkmanship by the DMK to pressurise Congress.

The Times Of India has reported that government's trouble-shooter Pranab Mukherjee had on Mar 6 called DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi to reiterate his party's demand for seats and "winnable constituencies".

The daily also cited party sources as saying that select constituencies and a minumim of 63 seats was non-negotiable. Meanwhile Congress party received a shot in the arm when Samajwadi Party supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav gave a clear indication that his 22 members in the Lok Sabha would continue to support the Manmohan Singh government.

The Congress-led UPA has 274 seats in the Lok Sabha, two more than the required half-way mark of 272 in the 543-seat Lok Sabha. The number includes 18 seats of DMK.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Congress leader in-charge of Tamil Nadu skipped two meetings with Karunanidhi on Mar 6. Instead he held consultations with Tamil Nadu Congress, but reports suggest that no headway was made in the talks.

OneIndia News

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