- Congress may get 9 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, sources said
- MK Stalin's party is likely to contest in 20 to 25 seats
- DMK leader Kanimozhi had met Congress chief on Monday and Tuesday
A day after their rivals announced an alliance, the Congress is likely to formalise their partnership for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with MK Stalin's DMK today. The party may get nine out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry.
Mr Stalin's party is likely to contest 20 to 25 seats. The rest of the seats may go to other alliance partners.
Sources say the Congress wants to make it a round 10 seats in Tamil Nadu, but the DMK believes that one more seat will backfire for the alliance. The Congress had contested 10 seats in Tamil Nadu as part of the DMK-led alliance in 2004. In 2009, the Congress contested 16 seats in the alliance. The two parties contested separately in 2014.
Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik are expected to visit the state today to seal the deal with Mr Stalin's party, sources said.
DMK's Rajya Sabha lawmaker Kanimozhi met Congress president Rahul Gandhi twice, on Monday morning and Tuesday evening, to finalise the seat-sharing formula.
"Kanimozhi had met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday morning and proposed 9+1 seat sharing formula between DMK and the Congress," sources said.
The DMK reportedly made it clear that it wants to contest 25 seats, which would mean a smaller share for the Congress, with seven smaller parties in the alliance. Mr Stalin's party initially offered eight seats, but the Congress reportedly wanted 11. The two finally agreed on middle ground.
After long negotiations, the alliance has lost the PMK, led by S Ramadoss, to the BJP-AIADMK combine. The PMK has a support base in northern Tamil Nadu and has polled up to 10% votes in the state in the past few national polls.
After meeting Ms Kanimozhi, Mr Gandhi held discussions with senior Congress leaders of the state to discuss the alliance.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and former Union Minister EVKS Elangovan were among the leaders at the meeting.
Later on Tuesday, Kanimozhi again met Rahul Gandhi to finalise the alliance.
"Today Venugopal and Wasnik will be leaving to Chennai from Delhi around 12 noon and the signing of agreement and formal announcement on the alliance expected around 4 PM" said a Senior Congress Leader to NDTV.
The BJP on Tuesday closed the deal on its alliance with Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK for the Lok Sabha election. The AIADMK said the BJP had been assigned five of the state's 39 parliamentary seats - Puducherry adds one more seat.
"The alliance will contest the Tamil Nadu elections under the leadership of the AIADMK and the national elections in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Union Minister Piyush Goyal.
The AIADMK had swept the 2014 general polls by winning 37 seats in Tamil Nadu. The BJP-led alliance had won 2 seats.