Initial seat-sharing talks with DMK positive, says CPI leader

The CPI was allotted Tiruppur and Nagapattinam during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the Communist party won both the seats.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 04, 2024 | 1:39 PMUpdatedFeb 04, 2024 | 1:44 PM

CPI protest Adani issue

The initial talks on seat-sharing with the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu for the approaching Lok Sabha election have been on a positive note, and the party expected more seats than the number allocated to it in the 2019 poll, CPI leader and MP K Subbarayan said on Saturday, 4 February.

The MP, representing the Tiruppur constituency, led a three-member delegation and held parleys with the DMK poll panel under its senior leader and parliamentarian TR Baalu at the DMK state headquarters — Anna Arivalayam — in Chennai.

Speaking to reporters in Chennai, Subbarayan said the date for the next round of talks would be announced later next week.

The CPI was allotted the Tiruppur and Nagapattinam Lok Sabha constituencies during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the Communist party won both.

Related: DMK, Congress conduct ‘very satisfactory’ talks for LS poll alliance

DMK talks with Congress

The DMK held its first round of talks for the Lok Sabha polls with key ally Congress on 28 January, a meeting described as “very satisfactory” by the grand old party.

After the meeting with DMK leaders at Anna Arivalayam, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president KS Alagiri briefed reporters, stating that the discussions revolved around potential candidates and campaign strategies aimed at securing seats in the parliamentary elections.

He said that the first round of talks with the DMK was very satisfactory and they would soon take things forward.

Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Mukul Wasnik, AICC in-charge for Tamil Nadu Ajoy Kumar, and Congress Legislature Party leader K Selvaperunthagai participated in negotiations.

Also Read: ‘Cong reached seat-sharing understanding with some INDIA partners’

No preferred seat list

Baalu, addressing reporters after the seat-sharing discussions, indicated that the preliminary talks had concluded, and the next round would follow soon.

Responding to a query, the DMK treasurer and MP clarified that neither had the Congress party submitted a “list of preferred seats”, nor had the DMK sought one.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the DMK and its allies secured 38 out of the 39 LS seats in Tamil Nadu, of which the Congress won 9 of the 10 segments it contested.

On speculation about the Congress expecting more seats, he stated that it is natural for all alliance partners, including the DMK, to try and contest from the maximum number of seats. “When several parties form part of an electoral alliance, all partners should be accommodated,” he remarked.

Regarding the prospects of new parties joining the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu, Baalu welcomed any outfit that “does not seek LS seats”.

When asked specifically about the possibility of Makkal Needhi Maiam, led by actor-politician Kamal Haasan, joining the alliance, he claimed he was “not aware” of such developments.

DMK general secretary Duraimurugan had, on 19 January, announced that a committee led by Baalu would hold talks with allies on seat-sharing.

Principal party secretary KN Nehru, deputy general secretaries I Periyasamy, K Ponmudi, and A Raja, who is also an MP, were present during the committee’s discussions, along with panel member MRK Panneerselvam.

(With PTI inputs)