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Vaiko ditches DMK, takes 35 seats from Jaya

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Last updated on: March 04, 2006 13:28 IST
Irked with the offer of just 22 seats by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which is heading the Democratic Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Saturday decided to walk out of the grouping and cross over to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam camp.

MDMK General Secretary Vaiko met the AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at her residence at 11.45 am, and was offered 35 seats for the May 8 polls to the Tamil Nadu assembly. The decision was announced by Jayalalithaa in Chennai.

After a 45-minute meeting between the two, Jayalalithaa told reporters that all other matters like the Prevention of Terrorism Act issue were things of the past. (Vaiko was detained under POTA for over a year by her government).

"We are here on a positive note, on a positive matter and we will be making only positive statements," she said.

Vaiko said the AIADMK-led alliance would "sweep" the polls. "This is the finest hour in the political history of Tamil Nadu. The alliance is a formidable one".

Right from day one of the seat-sharing talks among the constituents of DPA, the MDMK had been adopting a dilly-dallying attitute. Only yesterday, DMK chief M Karunanidhi had served an ultimatum to the MDMK to take the offer of 22 seats or leave the alliance.

The MDMK had been demanding parity with the PMK on the plea that its strength was much more than that of the PMK and was the 'number three' party in the state. The MDMK cadres had been opposing the tie-up with the DMK and were seeking an alliance with the AIADMK which had offered the party more seats.

Vaiko's decision is a boon for the ruling AIADMK, which had been more or less isolated in the state's political scenario.

The MDMK, one of the erstwhile constituents of the DMK-led DPA, was demanding at least 25 seats, but the DMK leadership had categorically stated on Friday that it was able to offer a maximum of 22.

In Tiruchirappalli, DMK president Karunanidhi reacted with a cryptic 'Nothing to say' when asked about Vaiko's decision to align with the AIADMK. Asked whether Vaiko's decision was due to his offer of fewer seats, he told reporters: 'I don't know.'

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