New Delhi: The DMK and Congress on Wednesday finalised the seat-sharing deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019. The Congress will contest nine seats in Tamil Nadu and the sole seat in Puducherry in alliance with the DMK, news agency ANI reported.

Addressing the reporters, DMK President, M K Stalin, said, “The constituencies (9 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and 1 seat in Puducherry) to be given to Congress will be decided in due course of time after holding talks with alliance partners.”

The announcement came a day after AIADMK and BJP finalised the alliance for the forthcoming Lok Sabha in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK will contest on 25 seats, BJP and PMK will fight in 5 and 7 constituencies respectively. Tamil Nadu has a total of 39 Lok Sabha seats.

The speculations started after Congress president Rahul Gandhi met MK Stalin on Tuesday. Reportedly, P Chidambaram was also part of the discussions.  In 2004 Lok Sabha elections the Congress had contested from 10 seats in Tamil Nadu. Notably, the two parties had fought separately. In 2009, the party put up candidates in 16 seats as part of the DMK-led alliance.

It is to be noted here that the election commission is likely to announce the dates of upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the first week of March. The term of present Lok Sabha ends on June 3. The election will be held in 6 to 7 phases.

The DMK-led alliance is expected include the two communist parties, the VCK and the IUML.

Queried whether the Congress will also support the DMK in the upcoming bypolls for 21 assembly constituencies, he said: “Let the bypolls get announced, then the announcement will be made about Congress party’s support.”

He also said the party’s Lok Sabha poll manifesto is under preparation.

Congress leader K.C. Venugopal said Gandhi gave a clear direction on the alliance talks and for the past two days, DMK and Congress leaders were holding informal talks in Delhi and Chennai.

Claiming that the entire country was disappointed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, he said the alliance will win all the 40 seats – 39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry. Earlier in the day, DMK MP Kanimozhi and Tamil Nadu Congress unit President K.S. Alagiri returned here. They had met Gandhi on Tuesday in Delhi separately.

Speaking to reporters, Alagiri said the AIADMK-PMK alliance announced on Tuesday is an “opportunistic one”.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress drew a blank as it contested alone in Tamil Nadu while the DMK and its allies also drew blank in the state and Puducherry.

(With agency inputs)