DMK gives Congress 41 seats in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, April 4 (IANS) The DMK and the Congress on Monday announced seat sharing for the Tamil Nadu assembly elections, with the Congress agreeing to contest just 41 of the 234 seats.

The Congress had demanded 63 seats, the number allotted to it in 2011. But the DMK offered only 41, which is less than the 48 where the Congress fielded candidates in 2006.

Congress leader and former union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media that he was confident that DMK president M. Karunanidhi would be able to form a government in the state after the May 16 election.

DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin added that the DMK-led alliance was confident of winning the elections “as people want a change”.

Now the parties in the DMK alliance have to decide the constituencies each will contest.

Earlier, the DMK allotted five seats each to the Indian Union Muslim League and the MMK, another Muslim party, and one seat to the smaller SSP.

Senior Congress leader E.V.K.S. Elangovan said the party was pleased with the 41 seats given to it. “The partymen are happy now,” party spokesman Gopanna told IANS. “It is not a climbdown.”

After the rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the 41 seats is not a small number, he said.

“Also, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi wanted a minimum of 41 seats, the number the party contested in Bihar,” Gopanna said.

“In 2001, Congress contested only 14 seats. So 41 is not the lowest ever for the party,” another party leader said.

The DMK is expected to contest in 180 seats.

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