Drama prevails at Cong office in Pondy after party workers oppose allocation of 'key' seats to DMK

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Puducherry, Mar 14 (PTI) High drama unfolded at the Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee office here on Sunday during a meeting to finalise the candidates list for the April 6 assembly poll, when some party men opposed the allocation of 'key' seats to the DMK.

Noisy scenes were witnessed at the screening committee meeting for a while and senior party leaders including former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy intervened to pacify the disgruntled workers.

A delegation of AICC including Digvijay Singh, Pallam Raju, Sanjay Dutt and Dinesh Gundu Rao were deputed by the high command to hold discussions with the local leaders and prepare the list of candidates of the party.

The Congress has been earmarked 15 seats while its alliance partner the DMK has been allotted 13 seats.

Cadres from Mangalam constituency and Tirubhuvani and Mannadipet segments, who gathered at the party office, registered their protest against these seats being given to the DMK, a constituent of the Secular Democratic Alliance.

They were also up in arms against the Congress being allotted six seats less this time than the previous poll held in 2016.

During the meeting, one of the functionaries of the party from Mangalam constituency attempted to present a DMK flag to the party president A V Subramanianto symbolically show that Congress has bartered away key constituencies of the party to DMK, which set in motion heated arguments.

A spokesman of the block level committee of the Mannadipet Assembly constituency told media that it is a 'big injustice' the Congress meted out to its party men by letting DMK field its candidates in certain key constituencies, from where the victory of the national party would be a certainty.

Police and the central armed police force personnel rushed to the Congress party office and stood guard outside.

Talks held by AICC delegates came to a halt when the protest by those feeling disappointed over the allocation of the Mannadipet, Mangalam and Tirubhuvanai (reserved) segments to DMK erupted inside the party office.

After restoration of order, the venue of the deliberations was shifted to the first floor from the ground floor.

According to party sources, the list of candidates for all the 15 seats for the forthcoming poll would be finalized by this evening.

The DMK which has been allotted 13 constituencies has finalized names of its candidates for 12 seats and would announce the nominee for Bahoor soon. PTI COR ROH ROH