Chennai, March 3 : The seat sharing talks between the DMK and the Congress have hit a roadblock after Chief Ministerial candidate of the front M.K.Stalin refused to allot more than 18 seats to the Congress.
The Congress, which had demanded 45 seats, has now settled for 33 seats.
The DMK supremo is of the opinion that the party cannot allocate more seats to the Congress as it does not have much strength on the ground level.
Stalin, according to DMK sources, wanted to contest maximum seats on the party symbol and does not want the Congress to have more. The Stalin camp is expecting to contest anywhere between 170-180 seats in the April 6 Assembly elections and the party does not want to alter this equation as this is a do or die battle for the party.
This is the first election in the state without the towering presence of leaders like Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi, and Stalin wants to stamp his prominence in the party and to be seen as the rightful heir to his father's throne by becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu with a huge victory.
Former Union Minister and six term lok Sabha MP, Kodikunnil Suresh, who is the working president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and is in the scrutiny committee of Tamil Nadu Congress for the selection of candidates, while speaking to IANS over telephone said, "The alliance between the Congress and DMK has been in force for the past several years and we do want to continue with this. The Congress party has its own strong areas in Tamil Nadu and we have demanded seats proportionate to our strength and we expect the DMK to be more flexible in the meeting to be held with their party leadership." Meanwhile, the DMK leadership completed the seat sharing formalities with the Muslim political outfits and its coalition partners, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Manithaneeya Makkal Katchi(MMK) on Tuesday night.
The DMK has provided 3 seats to the IUML while it provided 2 seats to the MMK.
IUML national president and former MP Khader Mohideen, who held detailed discussions with Stalin, said that the party had requested for five seats. But DMK leadership explained the problems in providing more seats and so now the party settled for three seats, said Mohideen.
The MMK leader M.H. Jawahirullah also said that his party was satisfied with the 2 seats provided by the DMK leadership. While speaking to IANS over telephone the senior leader said: "We will win the elections with a landslide margin and DMK-led front will get a huge majority. We will drub the AIADMK-BJP combine with a heavy margin. We are satisfied with the 2 seats provided by the DMK." The DMK will continue with the seat sharing talks with the Congress on Wednesday and is expected to arrive at a consensus in the days to come.