Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MK set to Seal Seat Sharing Deal Over Breakfast

<Deal Of The Dayp>Discussions over seat sharing reached a feverish pitch on Tuesday at Anna Arivalayam, with parties of the DMK front making a beeline to hold talks. A tone of finality is expected to be reached on Wednesday morning, when DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi would discuss the matter over breakfast with all the allies at one go. On Tuesday, however, a picture emerged on who would contest in how many and which seats, with the DMK reaching agreements with two of its allies.

Karunanidhi finalised the seat sharing agreements with the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Puthiya Tamilagam in the presence of his party's seat sharing committee. The two allies would receive one seat each, according to an official release from the DMK.

While Manithaneya Makkal Katchi has been given the Mayiladuthurai constituency Puthiya Tamilagam has been allotted the Tenkasi (SC) constituency, where it commands considerable influence. These agreements were achieved in a matter of minutes after the allies walked into the DMK office on Tuesday evening.

The other two allies, however, would have to wait till the breakfast meeting with Karunanidhi. It is yet unclear how many seats the VCK would get.

The party has stood by the DMK for over five years, and is expecting to get more seats than it did in 2009, when it contested in the reserved Chidambaram and Villupuram constituencies.

Sources in the VCK told Express they have asked for five seats. They have named Chidambaram (SC), Villupuram (SC) and Kancheepuram (SC) as non-negotiable allotments, and also asked for one general constituency each in the northern region and one in the south.

This request is expected to be addressed during the sit-down with Karunanidhi. VCK leaders, however, indicated that they are most likely to get the three reserved constituencies they have asked for.

In all likelihood, the IUML would get one seat and would contest under its own symbol (ladder) rather than under the DMK's symbol (rising sun) as it did in 2009. There is no clarity on which seat would be allotted to the IUML, with some saying it has been denied the Vellore constituency, where it is incumbent.

If these calculations turn out to be final, the DMK would contest 33 seats in Tamil Nadu and the one seat in Puducherry.

After finalising these agreements, the DMK would be prepared to release its official list of candidates by as early as Wednesday evening, party sources said.

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