Chennai: There were no visible signs of progress on the DMK-Congress alliance front on Thursday even as the Dravidian major inked a six-seat deal with the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a Dalit outfit with considerable presence in north Tamil Nadu. The CPI is expected to sign a pack for a similar number on Friday, while the CPI (M) and MDMK continue to be upset with the offers made to them.
“The DMK has not increased its offer from the initial 18 seats it pitched for us,” said a Tamil Nadu Congress Committee leader dismissing speculative reports that the Dravidian party has agreed to allot 27 seats in addition to the promise of a Rajya Sabha berth.
Although Congress leaders are posturing that they would not hesitate to quit the Secular Progressive Alliance if it does not get a “dignified” treatment, in private they admit that it is a tough call to take as elections are just a month away. The options before the national party are also limited with the DMK managing to convince some smaller parties to stay on. This has put paid to the Congress’ calculations that it could walk out en bloc with the smaller allies and explore an alternative front.
“We can exit the alliance for pride’s sake but it would reflect poorly for a grand old party like ours to play second fiddle in an alliance led by actor Kamal Haasan, a newbie to politics. Forming a credible third front now is ruled out. But the DMK must consider the larger goal of defeating the AIADMK-BJP alliance in this election and be a little more accommodative,” a leader said. “The DMK should not forget that we have been in alliance with it in the last three Assembly elections,” he added.
A second line DMK leader, when contacted, said, “We want to contest in as many seats as possible to get a decisive majority. The Congress must take into account that though the offer is less, they are assured of winning more seats and sign the deal. Our leadership may be willing to give up 24 seats is what I understand.”
On the AIADMK front, it appeared that the ruling party has decided not to entertain actor Vijayakant’s DMDK as his brother-in-law had spoken about the AIADMK in a demeaning manner. The ruling party hopes to finalise deals with the BJP and TMC on Friday.