DMK agrees to align with Congress for assembly polls

Chennai, Feb 13 (IANS) Forgetting their past acrimony over the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, the DMK and the Congress on Saturday said they would ally for the forthcoming assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

Congress leader and former union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin announced their decision to contest the assembly elections together.

However, no decision has been taken on important aspect of seat-sharing, the leaders said.

The decision to join hands and take on the ruling AIADMK and others came after an hour long meeting between Congress team led by Azad and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi at the latter’s residence here.

“We are sure of forming the government under Karunanidhi’s leadership along with other parties,” Azad told reporters.

This time around the talks between the two parties were cordial as against the mood when Congress negotiated for 63 seats during the 2011 assembly elections. The DMK had subsequently parted ways with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress and DMK fought separately and the former drew blank in all the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu.

The president of Congress’s Tamil Nadu unit E.V.K.S. Elangovan and the party’s in-charge for the state Mukul Wasnik accompanied Azad.

According to Azad, it does not matter whether the party will share power with DMK or lend support from outside (as was the case in the past), the goal is to form the government.

He said the number of seats that Congress would contest would be decided later.

Azad said DMK will decide on admitting other parties into the alliance.

DMK’s Stalin told reporters that the alliance between Congress and DMK has been sealed while sharing of seats was not discussed.

The Congress party in the state has been weakened with the exit of G.K. Vasan and other leaders.

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