In a big development in the DMK led alliance, sources tell TNM that the party leadership has asked the Congress if they are willing to let go off two seats already alloted to them in the alliance. This, multiple sources confirm, is in an attempt to meet the DMDK's demand of five seats to join the alliance.
On Wednesday, DMK President MK Stalin officially announced the alliance with the Congress in a press conference at the party headquarters in Chennai. The party further alloted 10 seats to the Congress, nine of which will be in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry. They maintained that other allies will be announced after talks on seat sharing were completed. The other likely allies for the DMK were at that point pegged to be - VCK, CPI, CPI(M), IUML and MDMK. Talks with the PMK had failed and the party had joined the AIADMK's mega alliance just a day prior to the DMK's announcement.
The AIADMK was also trying to rope in the DMDK into their alliance but talks have reportedly been affected by the latter's demand for seven seats, equal to that alloted to the PMK. Even as news of lack of progress in alliance talks erupted, MK Stalin visited ailing DMDK chief Vijaykant on Friday. And while Stalin maintained that it was a courtesy visit, sources tell TNM otherwise.
"The Congress is insisting that the DMDK should join the alliance, as it is a matter of perception. They want our side to look like they the most formidable alliance and numerical strength," says a source in the DMK. "We were not initially interested but are now in talks. The DMDK wants 5 seats, so for that, we have asked Congress if they will give up two," the DMk source said.
Another source in the party confirms that the request has been put forth to the Congress but there is no reply as of now from the party. Congress Chief Alagiri is currently in New Delhi to meet the party high command.
The DMK had earlier told TNM that they are looking to contest from upto 25 seats. But if the DMDK is to enter the equation, the DMK will have to cut down its seats as well. Its other potential allies are likely to get only one seat each.