DMK unlikely to cede seats to Congress, allies in Tamil Nadu

DMK unlikely to cede seats to Congress, allies in Tamil Nadu
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Chennai, Oct 18: Setting the tone for an ambitious poll strategy, DMK’s high-level committee said the party should contest as many Lok Sabha seats as possible in the 2019 elections in Tamil Nadu, leaving very few for its allies, including Congress.
This is not likely to go down well with Congress, which hopes to get a decent share of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, and the lone seat in Puducherry.
For DMK, a large number of MPs will be crucial to influencing Central policy and drawing funds to Tamil Nadu, something the AIADMK under the late J Jayalalithaa had done.
“This would also help DMK win the goodwill of the people and help the party capture power in the state in the next assembly election,” said a senior DMK leader.
After a long electoral alliance that began with the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, DMK and Congress went their separate ways in 2013. The two parties contested the 2014 polls on their own, and lost in the state. Of the 39 Lok Sabha seats, Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, which also contested on its own, won 37 seats, while BJP and PMK won one seat each.
Twenty-three members participated in DMK’s high-level committee meet convened for the first time by party leader M K Stalin after the death of his father M Karunanidhi in August. DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan did not participate due to health reasons, and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi is out of the country.