With DMK in a tight spot, Cong may seek more seat share in TN

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) Congress is expected to pitch fora higher number of seats during talks with DMK for the TamilNadu assembly elections knowing fairly well that theDravidian party was on the backfoot due to the 2G Spectrumscam and the anti-incumbency factor in the state.

The arrest of former telecom minster A Raja as well asthe anti-incumbency factor in the state have given enoughground for Congress to extract more from its alliance partnerin the 234-member House.

Sources said that the party which is currently seeking80 to 85 seats in the state is confident of getting anythingover 65. In the last election, Congress had contested only 48seats.

The talk within Congress circles is that the DMKleadership knows pretty well that it cannot get enough numberof seats to form a government there unless Congress votes aretransferred to it in constituencies where the national partyis not contesting.

"If we contest lesser number of seats, it will bedifficult to convince the party workers. We have not evenparticipated in the government so far. So we have to get agood number of seats to satisfy them... and then there is alsoan anti-incumbency factor against the DMK government," asenior party leader said.

The leader felt that Congress should share power in thestate if the alliance comes to power after the elections.

There is also a view in the party that though thiselection is not going to be an easy affair for the alliance,the principal adversary J Jayalalitha''s AIADMK "has also notbeen able to put its act together".

On the issue of alliance with PMK, the Congress leadersaid that a view was yet to be firmed up on the issue butthere was nothing wrong in a tie-up with the party if itdemands "reasonable" number of seats.

"PMK has its influence in at least nine Parliamentaryseats. But an alliance with them depends on how reasonable istheir demand," the leader said. He said that PMK was askingfor 50 seats.

Congress had yesterday declined to comment on DMK chief MKarunanidhi''s reported remarks that party president SoniaGandhi was not in favour of PMK being a part of their alliancefor the upcoming assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.

The party leader felt that PMK would have to join thefront on the DMK''s terms as the AIADMK is close to a deal withVijayakanth''s DMDK.

If the PMK does not come into the alliance, Congress isexpected to get a "large" number of seats during the seatallocation with the DMK.

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