Key DMK, AIADMK allies fume over seat allocation

April 1st, 2009 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 1 (IANS) Ahead of the single phase Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu on May 13, the two key parties, the ruling DMK and the main opposition AIADMK, are facing allies fuming over their seat-sharing arrangements.
Though the AIADMK has not yet officially announced, its indication that it would cede four seats each to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and MDMK, of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state, have upset them both.

“The seat-sharing negotiations with the AIADMK are far from satisfactory,” a top CPI-M source told IANS Wednesday.

“There is still no word on claim on the sure-win Dindigul seat, the AIADMK leadership is giving us only Madurai and Kanyakumari, won by colleagues Mohan Ponnusamy and A.V. Bellarmin respectively in 2004, and Tirupur,” he added.

While CPI-M state secretary N. Varadarajan blamed the media for spreading “false rumours” about the party talking to “other allies,” its Rajya Sabha member T.K. Rangarajan said talks might conclude soon.

“Media sections are spreading false rumours about the talks having broken down,” Varadarajan told reporters.

Rangarajan told IANS: “The talks may conclude to everyone’s satisfaction today (Wednesday). Vested interests’ allegations of dissension may actually hasten a quicker conclusion of the talks.”

The CPI-M and its ally Communist Party of India (CPI) had won two seats each during the 2004 elections as part of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance also comprising the Congress, PMK and MDMK, which respectively won 10, six and four seats.

MDMK leader Vaiko is talking with the AIADMK but defection of two party MPs to the DMK has handicapped him, a mainstay in the party said.

“Using the alibi of sitting MDMK MPs L. Ganeshan and Gingee S. Ramachandran’s defection and citing strong unionised labourers’ presence in Tirupur, Jayalalitha is playing CPI-M against us to whittle down our demands for six seats,” a top MDMK leader told IANS.

On the other hand, the DMK-Congress-VCK coalition here representing the nationwide United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has its fair share of confusion.

Tension prevailed in the Satyamurthi Bhavan, the Congress state headquarters, as over 2,000 party volunteers led by legislators S. Jeyapaul and John Jacob from Kanyakumari demonstrated angrily after lowering the party flag to half-mast and hoisting a black pennant Wednesday, leading to heavy police bandobast.

“The Congress has won from Kanyakumari 14 out of 15 times during the Lok Sabha elections and represented by our late charismatic leader K. Kamaraj. If the constituency is not allocated to us, there will be hell to pay,” Jeyapaul told reporters.

However, state Congress chief K.V. Thangkabalu said the party leadership will discuss with the DMK the demand for the Kanyakumari seat.

Congress workers are also angry over the inclusion of the VCK in the UPA as the latter’s volunteers left several activists of the former wounded December and complained to Congress observer Shantaram Naik Tuesday.

The DMK, however, is confident of winning all the 40 seats from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

“The exit of self-seeking opportunist political outfits from our front has galvanised our party workers to ensure our 40/40 win this time as well,” M.K. Stalin, the state’s local administration minister, DMK treasurer and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s son, told party workers Tuesday.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is also in the fray here as the fourth dimension with a few minor actor-led outfits in tow.

The single-phase polls in the state are scheduled for May 13.

As of now the DMK-led DPA has shared the seats in this way: DMK 21, Congress 16, VCK two and IUML one.

On the other side, the AIADMK has allocated seven seats to the PMK for Lok Sabha (including one from Puducherry) and a Rajya Sabha nomination besides ceding three seats to the CPI. It is expected to announce 4 each to the CPI-M and MDMK.

While all the winners in 2004 belonged to the DMK-led DPA, at present the AIADMK has the CPI, CPM, PMK and MDMK on its side.

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