Congress seals poll pact with DMK in TN, Pondy; gets 10 LS seats
Chennai, Feb 20 : The Congress will contest nine seats in Tamil Nadu and the sole seat in Puducherry in the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the DMK, DMK President M.K. Stalin announced here on Wednesday.
The pact between the two parties was widely expected as Stalin had proposed Congress President Rahul Gandhi's name for the Prime Minister's post at a DMK function here in December last year.
Taking a dig at the state's ruling AIADMK that signed poll pacts with the PMK and the Bharatiya Janata Party at a five star hotel on Tuesday, Stalin said the DMK and the Congress signed their deal in his party headquarters.
According to him, the AIADMK alliance is a "money welfare alliance" and not a "people welfare alliance".
Queried about the constituencies that Congress would contest in Tamil Nadu, Stalin said talks for alliance are on with several other parties and once the alliance with others are finalised, then the constituencies will be decided.
He said that those parties which have been with DMK for the past two years and participated in its protest programmes will be part of the party's alliance.
The DMK will contest in all the Lok Sabha constituencies that were not shared with its alliance partners, he added.
The DMK-led alliance is expected include the two communist parties, the VCK and the IUML.
Queried whether the Congress will also support the DMK in the upcoming bypolls for 21 assembly constituencies, he said: "Let the bypolls get announced, then the announcement will be made about Congress party's support."
He also said the party's Lok Sabha poll manifesto is under preparation.
Congress leader K.C. Venugopal said Gandhi gave a clear direction on the alliance talks and for the past two days, DMK and Congress leaders were holding informal talks in Delhi and Chennai.
Claiming that the entire country was disappointed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, he said the alliance will win all the 40 seats - 39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry.
Earlier in the day, DMK MP Kanimozhi and Tamil Nadu Congress unit President K.S. Alagiri returned here. They had met Gandhi on Tuesday in Delhi separately.
Speaking to reporters here, Alagiri said the AIADMK-PMK alliance announced on Tuesday is an "opportunistic one".
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress drew a blank as it contested alone in Tamil Nadu while the DMK and its allies also drew blank in the state and Puducherry.