Monday, March 7, 2011

DMK-Cong alliance to collapse?

The seven-year-old DMK-Congress alliance was on the brink of collapse on the issue of seat-sharing for the Assembly polls on Friday night with party chief M Karunanidhi saying the party's high level committee would take a "proper decision" on the issue on Saturday.

In a statement in Chennai, he asked whether it was proper for Congress, which had agreed for 60 seats earlier, to now demand 63 seats over telephone.

The Congress stand that it would decide on the constituencies to be contested was highly improper, he said in a statement.
The DMK and the Congress have held three rounds of discussions on seat-sharing for the April 13 Assembly elections, but no headway could be made due to differences between the two parties.

Speculation was rife that the deal would be signed on Saturday.

Karunanidhi said right from 2004, when the two parties struck an alliance, the relationship between them were very smooth and the central and state governments were functioning without any confusion.

He said when poll talks were initiated between the parties, Congress was told that it would be given 51 seats, which was later increased to 53, 55 and 58. When AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad met him two days ago, it was agreed that the Congress would be given 60 seats, Karunanidhi said.

But after agreeing to sign the poll accord on Thursday, Ghulam Nabi Azad had retured to New Delhi without meeting him, Karunanidhi said.

The Congress demand for the constituencies of its choice was also "highly unfair and improper," he said.

In 2006 Assembly polls, DMK contested 132 seats, leaving 48 to Congress, 31 to PMK and 23 to the left parties, he said.

After his meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on January 31, he had confirmed the alliance with the Congress.

It was decided that excess seats arising out of Left parties exit from the combine would be shared among both the parties after allocating seats to new entrants like Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and Kongu Makkal Munnentra Kazhagam, Karunanidhi said.

The DMK was left with only 122 seats (out of the total 234) after allocating 60 seats and the rest to allies, he said.

Under these circumstances, the party's high level policy making committee, at its meeting tomorrow, would take "proper and appropriate decision" on the alliance issue, Karunanidhi said, virtually issuing an ultimatum to Congress that any decision on the alliance should be taken before the meeting.

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