A day after the AIADMK finalised alliances with the BJP and PMK, the DMK is set to announce its first ally for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. At 6 pm on Wednesday, the party president MK Stalin will formally declare the DMK’s alliance with the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee. Sources further tell TNM that the Congress will be given 10 seats to contest in the polls.
The fact that the two parties would join hands for the election has been obvious from the time Stalin declared in Chennai that he would like to see Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. The DMK, according to sources, was merely biding its time, waiting for the AIADMK to make it stance clear. The party was also reportedly in the race to convince the PMK to join their alliance but could not meet the president S Ramadoss’ demand for seven seats in the Lok Sabha polls. The DMK was initially looking to only give the national party seven seats as opposed to their demand for 11. But now with the PMK out of the equation, DMK insiders say the Congress demand could be met.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi met top leaders from the party’s Tamil Nadu team, including state Congress president KS Alagiri and his predecessor S Thirunavukkarasar. Former Union minister P Chidambaram was part of the consultations and Rajya Sabha member K Kanimozhi also met the Congress party chief.
“The announcement will happen at 6 pm at Anna Arivalayam. Congress general secretary Venugopal will be present for the announcement. We will then start all the work,” KS Alagiri informed the media. “All the seats have been finalised,” he added.
According to DMK sources, South Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tenkasi, Theni, Karaikudi, Pollachi, Dharmapuri and Puducherry are amongst the seats in discussion for the Congress to contest from.
The Congress and DMK have further called the ‘mega alliance’ led by the AIADMK as ‘opportunistic’.
“They are opportunistic and have no ideology. We will know when their manifesto is released. They are anti-development forces of India and Tamil Nadu. Our focus is on growth, farmer issues, labour problem and creation of job opportunities. We do not want any divides or violence in India based on caste or religion,” Alagiri said.
Other parties that are likely to join the DMK-led alliance – MDMK, VCK, CPI, CPI(M) and IUM – are all likely to get one seat each. And the DMK, as per this arithmetic, will contest 25 seats.