Puducherry polls: Congress and DMK likely to finalise seat-sharing on Wednesday

Puducherry polls: Congress and DMK likely to finalise seat-sharing on Wednesday
The Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee and DMK are likely to finalise the seat-sharing deal for Assembly Elections in the Union Territory on Wednesday. DMK President MK Stalin and Congress General Secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu Dinesh Gundu Rao are expected to discuss the seat-sharing talks at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai. Former Puducherry Chief Minister and senior leader of the Congress V Narayanasamy told IANS, "We have almost reached a conclusion, but will finalise it in Chennai. There are certain minor issues to be ironed out and we may sign the deal on Wednesday." Narayanasamy was tightlipped when asked about the Chief Ministerial candidate of the alliance. Narayanasamy, who was forced to step down as Chief Minister, said that his party would come back to power in the next Assembly election. He said,"Only a few leaders have left the Congress and the cadres are intact and we will give a fitting reply to the BJP in the elections." The Puducherry PCC president AV Subramanian on Saturday invited NR Congress’ N Rangaswamy to form an alliance to take on the BJP. The NR Congress is a breakaway faction of Puducherry PC and was formed by former Puducherry CM Rangasamy in 2011. Justifying the invite to NR Congress, Subramanian had alleged that the Union government is implementing anti-democratic policies, “so to defeat the BJP we are ready to sacrifice anything”. However, NR Congress sealed its alliance with the BJP-AIADMK combine on Tuesday after it was allotted 16 seats. The BJP and AIADMK will contest in the remaining 14 seats. However, the two parties are yet to decide on the numbers.  In the 2016 Assembly elections, the Congress had contested in 21 seats and the DMK in 9 in the 30-member Assembly of Puducherry. The Congress won 15 seats and formed the Assembly with the support of two DMK MLAs in the 30-member House. However, several senior Congress leaders, including party's state working president AKD Arumugham left the party to join the BJP just days before the election was announced, pulling down the Narayanasamy government. Senior leader and former minister Namassivayam had also raised a banner of revolt and then joined the BJP.

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