While the countdown for the 2021 Assembly elections has begun in Tamil Nadu, DMK’s seat-sharing talks seem to have hit several roadblocks.
DMK is insisting that it should contest from at least 180 out of 234 seats in the Legislative Assembly. However, its ally – the Indian National Congress – has asked for 35 seats. DMK is not willing to offer more than 24 seats to the Congress, sources said. Meanwhile, another ally, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) has asked for 10 seats even as the DMK is ready to offer only five.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), led by MK Stalin has not been in power in Tamil Nadu for over a decade.
Congress Gets a Raw Deal
In the first round of talks, the DMK has offered 18 seats to the Congress, The Quint has learnt. In 2016 Congress had contested in 41 seats but won only five.
Sources close to the DMK said that political strategists and party members believe that the party has more clout than its allies. The party believes that it can win on its own, sources said. Recently, the DMK leaders had stayed away from all roadshows of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
In 2016 the DMK alliance included only the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League.
DMK Offers Five Seats to VCK
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), which held talks with the DMK on Monday, 1 March, too has not arrived at an agreement on seat sharing. The DMK is said to have offered five seats to the party, while the party has demanded at least 10.
In 2011, VCK was allotted 10 seats. The party has had a close alliance with DMK for years, except in the 2016 polls when the VCK was part of the People’s Welfare Front. In 2019, VCK contested the Parliamentary elections as part of the DMK alliance. Then, VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan and VCK general secretary D Ravikumar were elected as MPs.
IUML to Get Three Seats
In 2016, IUML had contested in five seats – Vaniyambadi, Kadayanallur, Manapparai, Poompuhar and Villuppuram. However, only KAM Muhammed Abubacker, its state general secretary, won from Kadayanallur constituency in Tenkasi district. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the party was given one seat and K Nawaz Kami was elected from Ramanathapuram constituency.
Sources suggest that the DMK has successfully negotiated IUML to take three seats, less than its 2016 tally. The DMK has offered another Muslim party Manidhaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) headed by MH Jawahirullah, two other seats.
Meanwhile, DMK has been interviewing its own party cadres to select possible candidates to field. The party’s announcement of candidates is expected to come after the seat sharing talks conclude.
. Read more on India by The Quint.DMK Deals It Tough: No Seat Sharing Consensus With Allies Was China Behind Mumbai’s Power Failure in October 2020? . Read more on India by The Quint.