Chennai: Before the elections, Tamil Nadu’s Congress was put to the test by the DMK, which initially offered it only 18 seats to run. Despite the snub, congressional leaders kept their cool, with the TNCC chairman openly declaring that the alliance with the DMK was firm and that his party was not exploring any third-front options.
MNM actor and chairman Kamal Haasan was directly and indirectly attracting Congress to join his alliance.
We can’t blame the DMK either. After burning its fingers over its generous offer of seats in Congress in 2011 (63) and 2016 (41), which saw Congress produce a very low strike rate by winning just five and eight seats, the DMK has been closed this time. . He had lost a golden opportunity to come to power in 2016 due to poor Congressional returns. The unimpressive performance of Congress in the Bihar assembly polls last year also failed to inspire confidence.
In the end, the DMK offered 25 seats, after the intervention of bigwigs on both sides, and Congress also accepted it without much noise, as it could be satisfied with the fact that it was getting more seats than the PMK (23) and the BJP. (20) in the AIADMK alliance.
Having accepted the offer, the next big question before congressional leaders was how to improve the strike rate this time around? Any repetition of past poor performance could literally lower its bargaining power in the future.
Not only did the DMK alliance emerge successfully, but Congress achieved a healthy strike rate by registering a lead in 17 of its 25 seats. This is the Congress party’s best performance in an assembly poll since 2006, when it won 34 of the 48 seats it contested. For once, the DMK won’t have much to complain about Congress.