Weeks after announcing an alliance with the Congress in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, MK Stalin's DMK has finalised the seat-sharing agreement, saying it would contest in 20 constituencies in the southern state. The party, which had announced that the Congress would get nine seats in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry, today revealed the number of seats allotted to other alliance partners.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party Of India (Marxist) have been given two seats to contest the polls in. Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK), Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi (KMDK) and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) have got one seat each.
The constituencies has not been decided yet. But DMK president MK Stalin has said that a decision would be taken in this regard soon. "Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders (DMK) will be together on one stage," he said.
This announcement comes even as the ruling AIADMK is struggling to rope in actor Vijayakanth's DMDK, which is demanding seven seats in parity with the PMK. The AIADMK is desperately trying to conclude seat sharing deal so it can have a show of strength in the election rally that will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In its alliance, the AIADMK has allotted seven seats to PMK, five to BJP and one to PT. In Puducherry, NR Congress will contest the polls for the alliance.
There is no clarity yet if the party would rope in GK Vasan's TMC. A senior leader from the AIADMK says, "By evening we are confident the DMDK would confirm their alliance with us".
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK, then under late J Jayalalithaa, had won 37 of the 39 seats. The DMK alliance had not won even a single seat. The DMDK, which had led the third front, too had drawn a blank. The BJP and the PMK had won one seat each.
This time, however, the former rivals of the AIADMK have become its allies. These parties have also committed to support the ruling party in by-elections to 21 seats, which fell vacant following the disqualification of the AIADMK legislators.
The AIADMK requires at least four more legislators for a simple majority. The party hopes its alliance and PM Modi's image would help them win the elections.
The DMK, on the other hand, is banking on the anti-incumbency, and the so-called anti-BJP sentiment in the state over issues like imposition of NEET, centre's pro-Karnataka stand in the Cauvery issue, unemployment and the implementation of the Goods and Services tax.
MK Stalin has called it a corrupt alliance. "PMK had released a book on corruption allegations against the AIADMK government. Now they've become an ally".
This is the first election after the deaths of J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.