Congress settles for 41 with DMK, begins discussion for identification of seats

The suspense surrounding the DMK-Congress seat sharing ended on Monday with the Dravidian major allotting 41 seats to the national party.
Congress settles for 41 with DMK, begins discussion for identification of seats
AICC’s Ghulam Nabi Azad with DMK president Karunanidhi at the latter’s residence

Chennai

A formal agreement was signed between the two parties at Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence where Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We have signed (an agreement) –  41 seats for Congress,” after a 30-minute meeting with the nonagenarian DMK chief. The rest will be distributed among the DMK and its allies, Azad said, adding, “Of course, the major share, will go to the DMK but there are other allies also and the DMK has already tied up with other political parties.” 
Azad endorses party dichotomy 
Literally endorsing the political dichotomy in Tamil Nadu, the Congress general secretary referred to the two Dravidian majors forming governments alternately during the last few decades and said, “This time it is the turn of the DMK-led government and I am sure under the leadership of Soniaji at the national level and Karunanidhiji at the state level, the party (DMK) will be able to form the government.” The Congress negotiator who is aware of the power equation in the DMK pointed to Stalin and said, “Here is the young leadership and we are confident of driving the AIADMK out of power. 
41 seats not palatable to all
A significant number of DMK men with allegiances to Treasurer MK Stalin, feel they may have given a few seats too many to the national party.
Party insiders admit Stalin was for clinching the deal at 36 seats, and in the worst case scenario, close to 40, but definitely not over it. It was reliably learnt that Karunanidhi had convinced Stalin to agree for this deal, especially after he received the surprise call from Sonia Gandhi on Saturday evening. Sonia’s personal intervention notwithstanding, a member of the Chidambaram family had also spoken to DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi to convince her leaders to agree for the 41-seat deal. 
DMK will contest 170 plus seats
After having allotted 54 seats to its allies thus far, including the 41 generously given to Congress this morning, the DMK has 180 seats. Even if it were to allot a couple of seats to one or two fledgling units who may join the fold, the DMK in all probability would field candidates in over 170 seats, highest since 2001 when it last contested 183 seats with BJP and won a meagre 31 seats. Informed sources told DT Next that John Pandian of Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam met Stalin on Sunday.
Seat ID from same day 
DMK and Congress chose to commence the constituency identification exercise from Monday itself. Stalin told reporters at Gopalapuram that the seat negotiation committees of the two parties will start working from Monday evening. 

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