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Updated: July 10, 2011 17:26 IST

Cabinet berths: DMK divided on Congress offer

Tamil Nadu Bureau
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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi during a meeting in Chennai on Saturday.
Special Arrangement Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi during a meeting in Chennai on Saturday.

The Congress on Saturday appeared ready to accommodate the nominees of the DMK in the Union Cabinet. This followed a meeting between senior Congress leader and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi.

However, the DMK remains divided on whether to press for more berths in the Ministry or maintain the status quo without seeking replacements for A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, who had resigned following charges of their involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

The issue was discussed when Mr. Mukherjee spoke to Mr. Karunanidhi at the latter's Gopalapuram residence here, according to a senior Congress leader. Mr. Mukherjee had gone on record saying that the alliance between the two parties would be strengthened, the Congress leader pointed out, and added that the Congress would merely go along with the DMK chief's choice of candidates for inclusion in the Cabinet.

A couple of DMK leaders said they were unaware of the nature of the discussions between Mr. Karunanidhi and Mr. Mukherjee. According to a source, Mr. Karunanidhi's daughter and DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, who is now in jail, is against seeking additional berths till she is cleared of charges. However, his son and DMK Legislature Party leader M.K. Stalin sees things differently, and would like the party to stake its claim to fill the “vacancies” caused by the exit of the DMK's original nominees.

Mr. Mukherjee spent nearly one hour with the DMK president. For about 15 minutes, they had a closed-door meeting.

Speculation

Later, the Union Minister, who arrived in Chennai on Friday night, told journalists that there was a lot of speculation whether the alliance (between the Congress and the DMK) was continuing or not. “The alliance is there. It will continue and will be strengthened,” he said.

Unwilling to attach any significance to the meeting ahead of the likely Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre, Mr. Mukherjee said he had come to Chennai after the Assembly election. Whenever he was in Chennai, he would meet Mr. Karunanidhi to discuss the political situation.

Mr. Mukherjee declined to take any questions on the nature of talks with Mr. Karunanidhi. Among those present during the discussion between the DMK leader and the Union Minister were DMK Parliamentary Party Leader T.R. Baalu, Mr. Maran, Union Minister V. Narayanasamy, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu and the former State Minister, Durai Murugan.

I like this proverb very much "If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging". Guess Congress Party members should start reading the meaning of this phrase.

from:  Muthuselvan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 at 18:24 IST

Coalition dharma - Knowing how deeply the DMK and its ministers are involved in corruption, Pranab Mukherjee will still go to Chennai to discuss cabinet reshuffle! Congress would not mind stooping to any level merely to hold on to power. They have no moral right to be governing the country. It is time the aam aadmi throw them out en-mass.

from:  Pushpavanam.R
Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 at 07:52 IST

Very sad trend in politics; after some leaders of a party are "jailed" or charge sheeted, the Congress does not have guts to break alliance! - because want to cling to power!
And all statements "we are not separated" reads funny,like the husband and wife living separately, one accused and found bad, the other saying we know it is bad; we live differently at two places, have strong difference of opinion on actions taken, but we remain partners eh !!!

from:  radhik hairam
Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 at 05:04 IST

Some people have values that are consistent with yours. Others don't. Some people are much higher in rank than you are. Others are nearer your own level. Political agreements with others who are very different from you in values or rank entail greater risk that one of you will hurt the other. Work with those with whom you're comfortable.
Cabinet formation has to be exercised carefully,if not it will end in disaster and there is no point in regretting it later.Upright and competent persons with a dedication to the work assigned should be preferred rather than the risky adoption on the faulty "Coalition Dharma" basis We should distance ourselves from bad elements from the beginning.

from:  V.Radhakrishnan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 at 04:34 IST

Family problem is separate.To maintain the political support DMK must take minister post with a suitable/educated but who will work for the nation only.

from:  venkatesan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 22:57 IST

It is not the question of having a corrupt, noncorrupt minister in the cabinet..It is the question of lending support when three of its(DMK) ministers are being probed..Withdrawing support to the govt. is suicidal TO DMK.. nominating someone in these places is a wise thing to do at this juncture as Tamil Nadu will have some representation in the cabinet.

from:  Deshpritan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 21:51 IST

Srikanth, I wish every officer in rank and file, shall oblige to serve this country to alleviate corruption from the root. We are just targeting only the Politicians. Politicians are keep changing every 5 years, whereas the core of the corruption malevolence is lying with government machinery. Let's pray those people also change their minds.

from:  Jamal
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 16:05 IST

With many corruption charges both in state and in central with what face DMK still wants to take berths in the central cabinet. Neither Congress nor DMK have any ethics or morals in this aspect. But people of Tamil nadu taught a good lesson for both parties. They should realise this and keep quiet for some years till the cases are cleared.

from:  Bangaraju
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 16:04 IST

Both have a common objective, so why will cooperation not continue? Congress wants to serve the full term as UPA. DMK needs to have some hold in the centre to counter the continuous scams being unearthed from DMK around at the state and federal levels. In their single minded focus on holding on to power, global investors consider the issue of corruption and Congress ineptitude to rein in the perpetrators as a very serious issues which is detracting the focus of the country from progress, reform and growth. While investors are concerned about the debt ticking under colossal urban infrastructure projects in China, India could have easily provided the alternative safe haven, but the world is weighing the risks of the hard landing from debt crash and the prospect of no growth due to system bottlenecks which the government has no intention of tackling.

from:  Madhusudan Giri
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 15:56 IST


One fails to understand the Congress party's urge to go to the DMK den, cringe and beg for nominations for filling up the vacancies created by the inglorious exit of A.Raja and Dayanithi Maran. Corruption by the DMK party is like a dangerous communicable decease like small pox or cholera. It is better for the Congress party to keep away from DMK at least for quite some time before deciding on its future course of action. Any close association with the DMK now will be looked upon by the people with revulsion and will have serious damage for the Congress party in its future.

from:  K.Venkataraman
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 13:20 IST

While arresting and detaining Kanimozhi, the DMK MP, for a period for custodial interrogation can be justified, CBI's opposition to the grant of bail to her on the plea that if set free she will tamper with evidence and influence witnesses is not convincing. Considering her position in politics and in society, she would not have to do these in person. Her continued detention could very well be to show to the world that the government is serious about bringing the corrupt to book. Hence the DMK has enough reason to feel peeved about it. But what the DMK will do in response to it will be based on the political judgement of the vetaran politician, her father. He can, if he wants, give anxious moments to the UPA government. But he will not do it for the fun of it.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 13:09 IST

It appears absurd to see the visit of Pranab to passify Mr.Karuna and assuring the continuance and the strengthening of the Alliance, even after People's verdict in Tamil Nadu, who made the DMK even unfit to sit as an Opposition party in the Legislative Assembly.

from:  RajiahJ
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 12:52 IST

Inspite of so many allegations,and two Minister's resignations from its alley's,Congress still continuing with DMK was really a surprising one..In the coming days Many will follow the previous Ministers.In the reshuffle congress should be very careful in allocating berths.

from:  K.Ragavan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 12:38 IST

It is irrespective of party, religion and region,now we have to strive for corruption free India.Cannot expect any miracles happening from current political spectrum .so dear indians there is a need of one more revolution like our fore fathers did for independence.There should be a satyagraha and movement to curb corruption.Keeping high integrity and consistent movement of making people to understand the evils of corruption and its consequences should be understood and taken to every citizen of india.It is not of giant task and we indians have potential to win any battle and i retreat that mother india would be free of corruption for next generation to come. I wish every citizen good luck who participates in this agitation keeping free of mind from political mileage and for self image development.

from:  Srikanth
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 10:46 IST

What is the point of this operation?. The picture of Pranab, Maran and Karuna like a happy family is so disappointing (in the other article). How is justice going to be served?

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 at 07:51 IST
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