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DMK,Cong finalise constituencies

Chennai: After days of haggling, ruling DMK and its key ally Congress on Tuesday finalised on the 63 constituencies to be contested by the national party for the April 13 assembly elections, amid indications by the Congress about possible power-sharing in case the combine won.

"The aspirations of Congress men and women will be met," TNCC president K V Thangkabalu said when asked if the two parties had worked out a strategy on power-sharing in the event of the DMK-led alliance winning the elections.

The Congress, propping up the outgoing DMK government with the crucial support of its 34 mlas, has been pressuring the Dravidian party to share power with it.

The demand for cabinet berths from leaders like former TNCC president EVKS Elangovan had in the past been cold-shouldered by the DMK, which has six ministers in the UPA-II cabinet.

Speaking to reporters at TNCC headquarters, Satyamurthy Bhavan, after signing the agreement with DMK president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Thangkabalu said the party was contesting in all districts except Dharmapuri and Theni.

Interestingly, the DMK allotted five seats from its bastion, Chennai, to Congress.

Top DMK leaders, including Karunanidhi and his son MK Stalin and some cabinet colleagues including Finance Minister K Anbazhagan, represent different constituencies in Chennai.

Anna Nagar, presently represented by Electricity Minister Arcot N Veeraswamy, and nearby Alandur (Kanchipuram district) by Labour Minister TM Anbarasan are two important seats allotted to Congress by DMK. Besides, Thiru.Vi. Ka Nagar, Thygaraya Nagar, Mylapore and Royapuram have also been allotted.

Thangkabalu, who was also a member of the Congress election panel that held discussions with its DMK counterpart on seat-sharing, said the 63 seats, 15 more than alloted to it in 2006, consists of constituencies of sitting MLAs.

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