It is the first state conference to be chaired by MK Stalin, since taking over as the party president after his father M Karunanidhi’s demise in August 2017.
Originally scheduled for the last week of February, the DMK had deferred the state conference to March second week in view of Stalin’s ongoing Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin campaign. DMK sources with knowledge of the agenda said that the party leadership plans to conclude seat sharing talks with allies, including finalisation of constituencies in the first couple of weeks.
A DMK senior, who attributed the plan to likely announcement of Assembly elections schedule by Election Commission (EC) in the first few days of March, said, “Informal talks are happening with allies already. The camaraderie in the alliance is pretty good. Unless some new party joins the alliance, which seems far-fetched at this juncture, there is little to suspect that seat sharing talks would drag. So, if the EC announces the date in February end or early March, finalisation of numbers should conclude in a few days.”
Suggesting that identification of constituencies could take some time, a DMK senior unwilling to be quoted, said the leadership was confident even that could be done away with easily. Incidentally, the ruling AIADMK has planned to organise its conference on February 28. “Anyhow, candidates will be announced in a grand event. So, why not the state conference, which will happen amid peak campaigning,” the leader added.
If sources in the DMK are to be believed, the party could minimize the duration of the state conference, which would usually be a three-day affair, to avoid it consuming campaign time.