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DMK finalises alliance with PMK for TN polls

February 18, 2011 14:42 IST

The Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam and Pattali Makkal Katchi on Friday clinched an alliance for the coming Tamil Nadu assembly polls, under which the ruling party's junior partner has been allotted 31 assembly seats.

The deal was finalised at a meeting between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss in Chennai.

Karunanidhi, announcing the accord at the end of the nearly 90-minute meeting with his former ally, said the two parties had decided to fight the elections jointly. A beaming Ramadoss said his party had been allotted 31 seats and also a Rajya Sabha seat.

He exuded confidence that the DMK-led alliance would 'sweep' the polls.

The talks between the DMK and PMK had come to an abrupt end with Congress president Sonia Gandhi reportedly expressing her reservations over the presence of Ramdoss-led party in the alliance during her recent meeting with Karunanidhi in New Delhi.

As a damage control exercise, former health minister and Ramadoss's son Dr R Anbumani called on Gandhi at Delhi on Thursday. In the wake of the meeting, she reportedly gave her nod for admitting PMK into the DMK-Congress combine.

The PMK, known for switching sides during elections, had contested 31 seats in the 2006 assembly polls in alliance with the DMK and won 18 of them. The DMK snapped its ties with the PMK in 2008 after Ramadoss gave 'zero marks' to the ruling party for governance. 
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, PMK contested seven seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam but failed to win any.

The two parties fought against each other for the Pennagaram by-polls last year in which the DMK won and PMK came second.

The party will be the third largest constituent in the DMK-Congress combine.

Meanwhile, the Congress is yet to officially initiate poll talks with the DMK, in spite of assurances from the top leadership that the alliance between the two parties remains strong.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K V Thangkabalu, after meeting Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, also in-charge of the party's Tamil Nadu affairs, had announced that the two parties would initiate talks by the week-end. 

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