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Congress-DMK meeting on seat sharing cancelled

Posted by on March 3, 2011 0 Comment

Chennai, March 3 (IANS) The deadlock between Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK and its major ally Congress over seat sharing for the upcoming April 13 assembly elections continued Thursday with a meeting on the issue being cancelled.

A two-hour meeting on the issue had ended inconclusively late Wednesday and it was announced that the two parties would meet Thursday morning.

However, the meeting got cancelled as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress general secretary and in-charge of party’s Tamil Nadu affairs, who led the party’s negotiating team, left for Delhi along with state chief K.V. Thangkabalu.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had told reporters Wednesday night that the talks would resume Thursday.

Interestingly, soon after the meeting got over, the DMK announced the allotment of seven seats to the KMK, thereby taking the total number of seat-sharing deals to five — involving 52 seats in the 234 member house.

The DMK had earlier signed agreements with the MMK, VCK, PMK and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), allotting them one, 10, 31 and three seats respectively.

Reacting to the allotment of seats to KMK, a Congress official said the DMK was trying to force the party to accept what was being offered.

While what transpired between the leaders of Congress and the DMK at the Wednesday meeting is not known, it is learnt that Azad and Thangkabalu will apprised their party president Sonia Gandhi on the development.

It is believed that the Congress had demanded some 80-90 seats while DMK was willing to part with only 53 seats – five more than what was given in 2006 elections. The Congress has also demanded a share in power if the alliance is voted back to power and writing down a common minimum programme (CMP).

The DMK had told Congress that the question of power-sharing would arise only after the elections.

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