The Congress chose to appear firm on its demand for the allocation of at least 30 Assembly seats by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which heads the Secular Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu. However, the DMK’s current offer stands at 18.
Several in the Congress voiced the sentiment of being given a “dignified number” of a minimum of 30 seats. None of the leaders was, however, willing to go on record.
After an internal meeting of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) top brass on Thursday evening, the consensus arrived at was that anything below 30 seats was unacceptable to the Congress, highly placed sources in the party said as per reports.
“When the AIADMK is making all efforts to keep its allies intact, the DMK’s behaviour is not appropriate. If two of the most powerful Ministers, P. Thangamani and S.P. Velumani, can go and meet DMDK chief Vijayakant to mollify the party on seat adjustments [a few days ago], why can’t the DMK reach out to its allies?” a senior TNCC leader asked.
Another senior leader asserted that Congress’s “vote share” would be important to ensure that the DMK wins. He added that the national party was working only to make DMK president MK Stalin the Chief Minister.
The Congress leadership expects the issue to be settled by Friday. When asked what option the party had in case the talks failed, all leaders said the Congress would exit the alliance and contest alone. Another leader was of the view that if the Congress exited and fought alone, it could take on the BJP wherever it was contesting and aim to win those seats.