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TN: Take 60 seats or end alliance, DMK to tell Congress

Last updated on: March 05, 2011 14:18 IST

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is expected to pass a resolution in its high-level meeting to be held on Saturday evening that 60 seats is the final number it can allot the Congress party. The party will also tell the Congress that it cannot decide the constituencies it will contest, and if it does not agree to these conditions, the alliance, which has weathered many a storm in the years past, will end.

ALSO READ: TN: Greedy Congress upsets DMK, split imminent

The last three days have seen hectic activity in Chennai with the Congress and the DMK trying to close their talks on seat sharing. The DMK began the round of talks on Wednesday all ready to share 54 seats with the Congress, and by Friday had agreed to allot the Congress as many as 60 seats.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi

Azad, who led the national party's team for the, promised the DMK to revert with a confirmation after receiving a final nod from party President Sonia Gandhi. But instead of confirming the deal on Friday, the Congress called the DMK leadership and demanded 63 seats, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and party supremo M Karunanidhi said in a statement late on Friday night.

What also seems to have further irked the DMK is Congress party's insistence on choosing the constituencies it will contest. The DMK leadership feels that not only does the Congress have strong candidates to contest that many seats, but it also does not have the grassroot support required for an assured victory.

Senior DMK leaders are understood to have convinced Karunanidhi that the Congress was not serious about the alliance and that there was no way it can contest that many seats competently. Saturday's resolution is expected to give a day's notice to the Congress asking it to either accept 60 seats or end the alliance.

Krishnakumar Padmanabhan in Chennai