Standoff between Congress, DMK continues

Chennai: The standoff between Congress and DMK over seat-sharing persisted on Tuesday despite hectic efforts to break the ice, as the Dravidian party proceeded with interview of prospective candidates for the April 13 Assembly polls.

"Status quo continues," DMK spokesperson T K S Elangovan told reporters at the party headquarters Anna Arivalayam here, where party president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi began the process of interviewing the ticket aspirants.

He said there was no communication between his party chief and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who had a 40-minute interaction with DMK leaders and Union Ministers M K Alagiri and Dayanidhi Maran last night to break the deadlock, which had prompted DMK to announce its decision to pull out its ministers from the UPA cabinet.

However, the DMK had put it`s decision on hold till today after senior Congress leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee sought time from the party to resolve the issue.

Elangovan referred to Congress seeking time but did not say whether the issue would be resolved by today itself.

Meanwhile, the interviews to select candidates for the polls is scheduled to go on for a week.

DMK sources said though all constituencies would come up, they would, however, be allotted to alliance partners, once seat-sharing was finalised with them.

The PMK and VCK have already submitted their wish-list of constituencies and are in talks with the Dravidian party to finalise the list of constituencies. They have been allotted 31 and 10 seats respectively.