2019 LS elections: BJP, Cong demand more seats from AIADMK, DMK

Chennai: The Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress may be the big bosses of Indian politics. But, when it comes to Tamilnadu, they are always left at the mercy of regional Dravidian giants – the AIADMK and DMK. This trend of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi era continues even after their death, if one is to go by information dripping in from multiple sources about the seat-sharing talks for the Lok Sabha elections.

File photo of Piyush Goyal

The BJP, accused of controlling the AIADMK, is, in fact, finding it tough to get the desired number of seats from Tamilnadu’s ruling party. “The AIADMK is very particular about leading the alliance in the State. The BJP, too, is okay with this. But it wants to contest in more number of seats. However, the AIADMK feels it should field its candidates in at least 25 constituencies. Since the PMK, DMDK and other small parties are also in the alliance, seat-sharing talks are inconclusive till this moment,” say sources.

“Only to end the deadlock, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who is the election in-charge of the party in Tamilnadu, made a whistle-stop visit to Chennai Thursday. He reached the city from Delhi at 10 pm by a chartered flight, and after nearly three-hour-long talks with AIADMK seniors, including ministers P Thangamani and S P Velumani, at the residence of a prominent industrialist, left for the National Capital around 1.45 am Friday.”

As far as the DMK camp is concerned, sources say the Congress has demanded 16 seats, leaving the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in shock. “The DMK, which initially offered eight seats, is now in a mood to give 10. But, the Congress wants minimum 12,” sources say, adding that the M K Stalin-led party has offered two seats to the CPI(M) and one each to Vaiko’s MDMK, Thol Thirumavalavan’s VCK and CPI.

This has not gone down well with the MDMK and the VCK, it is learnt. Following this, Thirumavalavan is reportedly holding talks with AMMK chief T T V Dhinakaran, who is said to be trying his best to woo VCK and Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam into his fold.

Since the deals are yet to be finalised in Tamilnadu by the Congress and BJP despite multiple rounds of talks, the issue has now reached their respective high commands in New Delhi, which have decided to hold direct discussions with the leadership of the DMK and AIADMK. Hence, it is expected that the pacts will be sealed in the coming week.

M Bhaskar Sai