After Rashtriya Janata Dal Lalu Prasad Yadav left the Congress fuming by giving it a paltry three seats for the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, the party is pulling out all stops to ensure that it does not get a similar raw deal from its alliance partner Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday directed senior party leader Gulam Nabi Azad to demand 15 Lok Sabha seats from the DMK. Currently the Congress has 10 Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu.
The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which had contested from four seats in the 2004 elections, has withdrawn from the United Progressive Alliance. The Congress is hopeful that the DMK might leave these four seats for the Congress.
The Congress is seeking more Parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu for two reasons. Firstly it believes that it chances in TN are better than in other states. Secondly, the party may fail to secure any more seats in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and that might hit its total tally.
The decision to seek five more seats in Tamil Nadu was decided at the meeting of senior Congress leaders in New Delhi including Home Minister P Chidambaram, Mani Shankar Aiyer and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee leaders like E V S Elangovan, G K Vasan and KV Thankgabalu.