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LS polls: Talks in final stage, Congress-DMK seat deal likely today or tomorrow, say sources

Chennai: With the Lok Sabha elections barely weeks away now, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), along with its ruling ally in the state, the Congress, are likely to finalise their seat-sharing deal by Saturday or the day after, according to DMK sources.
The sources stated further that the negotiations on a seat agreement, which are currently ongoing, are expected to conclude later on Saturday or Sunday.
Amid the ongoing deliberations for the allotment of seats for the Lok Sabha elections, a consensus has already been reached for MDMK, IUML, and KMDK--the junior partners in the ruling alliance in the state--to contest one seat each, sources said, adding that while MDMK and the IUML will contest the polls on their respective symbols, the KMDK will fight the elections under the DMK symbol.
Further, as part of a broad consensus amid the ongoing talks, the Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM], and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), also part of the ruling alliance in the state, will contest two seats each on their respective symbols.
The Congress is expected to secure a substantial share of 9+1 (9 seats in Tamil Nadu and 1 in Puducherry) once the seat-sharing is finalised, sources said.
In the 2019 general elections, the DMK and the Congress had agreed on a similar share of seats, the ruling alliance swept the state winning 38 of the 39 Lok Sabha. The Congress bagged 8 of the 9 seats it contested then.
Meanwhile, discussions between DMK and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) for a share of Lok Sabha seats in the state are still underway, sources informed, adding that the MNM may be granted a seat from the Congress quota.
Negotiations over the symbol are also ongoing, with the DMK reportedly pressing the MNM to contest the polls under its symbol while the latter is adamant on going to battle under its own flag.
Earlier, on Friday, in a repeat of the 2019 template, the DMK sealed seat-sharing deals with its ruling allies--Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).
Speaking to reporters earlier, VCK MP Thol. Thirumavalavan said his party was allotted two Lok Sabha seats, both reserved constituencies, while one seat was set aside for Vaiko-led MDMK by the lead partner in the ruling alliance.
"We are continuing with the same formula as was adopted in the last Parliamentary elections. All parties consented to carry forward the seat-sharing formula from 2019. In the last general elections, our Left allies and the VCK got to contest two seats each while the MDMK got one. We have agreed on a similar share of seats in the upcoming elections as well," Thol. Thirumavalavan said.
He added that his party will contest on its own symbol, the earthen pot, adding that it requested the Election Commission to be allotted a general symbol as it would be fielding nominees from about 15 Lok Sabha seats across Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana as well.

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