Chennai, Mar 26: Faced with reported low offer by DMK, Congress state unit in Tamil Nadu is eyeing at least 45 seats and conveyed its view to the party central leaders negotiating the seat sharing with the regional party for the May 16 assembly elections.
In an apparent climb down, Congress which began negotiations yesterday with the DMK by seeking 63 seats that it contested in the 234-member assembly in 2011, is considering agreeing for at least 45 seats, Congress sources said today.
Congress and DMK revived their alliance after a three-year break-up to face the coming assembly elections. Senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik held first round of seat sharing talks with DMK President M Karunanidhi here yesterday during which the latter was reported to have offered a little over 30 seats.
The two AICC leaders later held a meeting with senior leaders at Sathyamurthy Bhavan, the TNCC headquarters yesterday, over DMK's offer.
"After the meeting with Central leaders, consultations were also held among the Tamil Nadu leaders," a senior party leader told PTI. During the consultations, the overall opinion was in favour of settling for 45 seats and in a worst case scenario this may go down a little, the leader added.
"At least this number is needed as aspirants loyal to several (state Congress) leaders need to be accommodated," the leader said. Citing smaller outfits like IUML and MMK being allotted five seats each by DMK, he said,"DMK cannot undercut us by harping on the exit of GK Vasan."
DMK had yesterday, during negotiations, said the strength of Congress had weakened due to the exit of Vasan who revived the Tamil Maanila Congress, floated by his late father G K Moopanar in the 90s. "Posturing is quite common in such negotiations.
We are also sure DMK understands that this election is more crucial to it than to us...," he said. He claimed Congress, despite the exit of Vasan, continued to have "robust" organisational presence across the state besides committed voters.