DMK seals seat-sharing pact with allies, Kamal Haasan's MNM joins ruling party-led alliance

Congress leader KC Venugopal with Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K Selvaperunthagai and other leaders meets DMK President MK Stalin to seal a seat-sharing deal ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, at Sathyamurthi Bhavan, Saturday, March 9, 2024.
Congress leader KC Venugopal with Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K Selvaperunthagai and other leaders meets DMK President MK Stalin to seal a seat-sharing deal ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, at Sathyamurthi Bhavan, Saturday, March 9, 2024.

Chennai | The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday concluded the seat-sharing agreements with allies of its-led Secular Progressive Alliance, as it signed a pact with the Congress, leaving itself with 21 seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

DMK President and Chief Minister M K Stalin and TNCC chief K Selvaperunthagai finalised the deal, in the presence of AICC leaders KC Venugopal and Ajoy Kumar.

The ruling party leads the multi-party Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in Tamil Nadu. SPA had swept the 2019 polls, winning 38 of the 39 parliamentary constituencies in the state, besides the neighbouring Puducherry union territory.

The ruling party had already completed the seat-sharing agreements with its other allies.

Major partner of the DMK, the Congress, received the maximum number of seats. The Dravidian party allotted it nine in Tamil Nadu and the Puducherry segment, just as it did in 2019.

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) joined the DMK-led bloc, but said it would not contest the coming Lok Sabha polls, contrary to expectations.

However, the DMK gave one seat to the six-year old MNM for next year's Rajya Sabha elections. The party had fought the 2019 polls and the 2021 state Assembly elections by itself, but failed to make any impression.

The DMK had earlier allotted two seats each to the CPI(M), CPI and VCK. MDMK, KMDK and IUML have been allotted one seat each.

On Saturday, after sealing the seat-sharing pact, Congress General Secretary (Organisation), Venugopal said Tamil Nadu was fighting against the divisive forces of the country and the "anti-federal attitude" of the Centre.

"It is important to fight against this anti-people, anti-poor government," he told reporters at DMK headquarters, Anna Arivalayam.

Venugopal exuded confidence of the DMK-led combine winning all 40 seats in TN and Puducherry and said the 'bonding' between the Congress and the DMK "is intact."

Haasan said his move to join the alliance was done for the sake of the country and not for any consideration for a post.

"I have shook hands where it had to be, since this is about the country," he said.

Haasan extended his party's "full support" to the alliance.

MNM will campaign in the 39 Lok Sabha seats in TN and Puducherry, according to the understanding arrived at by the two leaders.

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