Need share in power: Cong tells DMK

New Delhi: Congress in Tamil Nadu is understood to have demanded 75 seats from the DMK in the ensuing Assembly elections and has placed a proposal for share in power if the alliance emerges victorious.

Highly-placed sources said hard bargaining was on from both sides on seat-sharing issues with the Congress demanding 75 assembly constituencies as against the 48 seats it contested during the 2006 polls.

However, the DMK is said to be ready to give only 53 as the ruling party plans to contest at least 140 seats. Last time, it contested 124 seats. But, Congress, according to sources, is insisting on clinching a deal with 75 seats.

The DMK-Congress team has so far held two rounds of talks on seat-sharing in the past ten days, but no headway has been made with both sides sticking to their known stands.

The five-member Congress committee headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram today met party chief Sonia Gandhi and briefed about the two rounds of talks with the DMK. During the meeting, Gandhi is understood to have told them to continue with the talks.

Besides Chidambaram, Shipping Minister G K Vasan, party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan, TNCC chief K V Thangkabalu and MLA Jayakumar are members of the committee.

Asked about the talks with DMK, Natarajan said: "Talks are progressing in a very cordial atmosphere. We will try to get the best during seat-sharing (talks) keeping in mind our support among the people. We are a national party."

She hoped that the talks will end soon.

Thangkabalu also spoke in similar vein saying there is no deadlock in seat-sharing talks between the Congress and DMK.

"Two rounds of talks have been held so far. The third round will be held soon," he said.

The sources said the party has made three demands — share in power, constitution of a coordination committee and a Common Minimum Programme — in a proposal submitted to the DMK team.

However, the sources said, there has been no response from DMK on these proposals.

DMK has already alloted 31 seats to PMK and 10 to VCK headed by Lok Sabha member Thol Thirumavalavan.