Congress, Left and VCK unhappy
There was no progress in seat-sharing negotiations in the alliances led by the ruling AIADMK and the Opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
While the signing of seat-sharing agreements between the AIADMK and its allies that was expected to take place on Wednesday got deferred by at least a few days, the DMK’s allies were unhappy with the offer of fewer seats.
Though the AIADMK was not willing to commit itself to any specific date, a senior BJP leader expressed confidence that the deal would be inked “shortly”.
The AIADMK’s original expectation was that once a pact with the BJP is sealed, it would use the momentum for getting agreements signed with the others. The ruling party in the State and the national party did not arrive at an understanding, leading to the deadlock.
Among the factors cited for the delay was the reported insistence of the BJP on certain constituencies, which irked the AIADMK. The BJP’s wish list included Mylapore, Alandur, Palladam, Kinathukadavu, Coimbatore (South), Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni and Rajapalayam. Though the AIADMK always knew it would have to sacrifice some seats regarded as its strongholds, it appears to have been surprised by the BJP’s attitude.
Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam held talks with senior party colleagues during the day, but no solution was in sight.
Actor Vijayakant’s DMDK added to the confusion, with second-line leader L.K. Sudhish claiming that only the AIADMK was pleading for an alliance with his party.
The AIADMK had offered the DMDK 15 seats, but the latter insisted on 20. In the evening, the two parties were supposed to have one more round of discussions, but it didn’t take place.
A TMC(M) delegation met Local Administration Minister S.P. Velumani and his colleague, P. Thangamani, in the morning. It wanted 12 seats, whereas AIADMK was willing to spare only three.
Not satisfied with the DMK’s offer of 18 seats, TNCC president K.S. Alagiri said the ball was in the DMK’s court.
Leaders of another ally, the VCK, who were supposed to participate in talks, did not turn up at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters.
“We are in touch with the DMK leadership. They have conveyed that they would enhance the offer from four to six seats,” a VCK source said.
The DMK may make a similar offer to the two Left parties. CPI(M) sources said the next round of talks would take place only after an invitation from the DMK.
“The DMK leadership is not able to make any of the alliance partners happy. We have been saying that Mr. Stalin will be the Chief Minister, and have vowed to defeat the AIADMK-BJP combine. What prevents the DMK from being a little more generous in its offer,” asked a leader of the alliance party.
In the meantime, CPI State secretary R. Mutharasan said there was no truth to reports that the seat-sharing talks were on the verge of collapse. “The reports have the motive of creating confusion in the alliance. Talks are being held in a smooth manner,” he said in a statement.
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