New Delhi :
A day after the BJP and AIADMK announced an alliance in Tamil Nadu, the Congress and DMK sealed a seat-sharing deal on Wednesday. Announcing the alliance, DMK chief MK Stalin said that out of 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, Congress will contest on 9 seats. Apart from 9 seats in Tamil Nadu, the Congress has been given one seat in Puducherry. "The constituencies (9 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and 1 seat in Puducherry) to be given to Congress will be decided in due course of time after holding talks with alliance partners," Stalin said at party headquarters Anna Arivalayam in the presence of Congress General Secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu Mukul Wasnik, TNCC chief K S Alagiri and other senior leaders.
The DMK will finalise seat-sharing exercise for other allies soon, Stalin added. There are 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry, ruled by the Congress.
The pact comes a day after the ruling AIADMK cobbled alliances with BJP and PMK allotting them five and seven Lok Sabha seats respectively.
As per the understandings reached separately, BJP and PMK would contest five and seven seats respectively out of the total 39 Lok Sabha constituencies at stake in the state, AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the BJP election-incharge for Tamil Nadu who led the saffron party in the negotiations, said the alliance would sweep all 40 seats in the state and Puducherry "as a mark of reverence to late chief minister Jayalalithaa."
The alliance would be under AIADMK in Tamil Nadu while at the national level the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will steer the NDA coalition, he told reporters.
While the number of segments to be fought by the AIADMK will be known later after other allies are allotted their share, the Paatali Makkal Katchi (PMK) will also get one Rajya Sabha seat this year.
The PMK, which gave up its earlier policy of not aligning with either of the major Dravidian parties in the state, had held discreet talks with DMK as well, but in the end the AIADMK managed to woo it.
The coming Lok Sabha polls is the first major electoral battle for the AIADMK after the demise of its charismatic leader Jayalalithaa in December, 2016. For the DMK too, it would be the first key poll battle after the death of its patriarch M Karunanidhi in August last year.
With PTI Inputs