TN polls: AIADMK clinches seat-sharing agreement with PMK

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (L) along with Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister O Panneerselvam
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (L) along with Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister O Panneerselvam arrives to present the interim budget in the assembly, in Chennai, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Photo: PTI

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday clinched a seat-sharing deal with ally PMK for the April 6 Assembly elections, allotting the S Ramadoss-headed party 23 seats.

AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said his party and PMK have decided to face the ensuing polls as allies.

"As per the agreement reached between AIADMK and PMK, 23 seats have been allotted to PMK," in the ruling party-led alliance, he said in the presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and PMK Youth wing leader and Rajya Sabha member Anbumani Ramadoss.

The Election Commission on Friday announced the schedule of assembly polls for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, West Bengal, and Kerala on Friday.

Single phase elections to the 234 member assembly in Tamil Nadu will be held on April 6.

Congress-DMK seat-sharing talks facing hurdles

Seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the DMK for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections have hit a rough patch as Congress sources say that the latter is not conceding to its demands for more seats.

However, a Congress leader said the talks are underway and everything will be sorted out soon.

At the talks, the DMK is led by General Secretary Duraimurugan, Treasurer T R Baalu and MP Kanimozhi, while the Congress has its state in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, General Secretary Randeep Surjewala, and Tamil Nadu President K.S. Alagiri.

The Congress is demanding around 50 of the state's 294 seats but the DMK wants to give only 24, cited its poor performance in last Assembly election when it contested 41 seats and won only eight.

Congress leaders privy to talks said the party is asking for a higher number of seats as it does not want to be on the fringes but the DMK has cited its "Bihar performance", where the party's inability to win enough seats prevented the RJD-led 'mahagatbandhan' from reaching a majority.

Though Dinesh Gundu Rao did not respond to calls, senior leader and party Treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal said: "We are presently in touch with all our allies and all our associations and electoral alliances will be worked out. We will be in a position to share something only when the final picture is clear."

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