Seeking to put an end to speculation on replacements for A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, who had resigned from the Union Cabinet following charges of their involvement in the 2 G spectrum allocation scam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M. Karunanidhi said his party had not asked for any berth in the Union Ministry in the current round of shuffling.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Karunanidhi said the issue of replacement did not come up for discussion when Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met him a few days ago in Chennai.

He also did not talk about his daughter Kanimozhi, now lodged in Tihar prison in connection with the 2-G spectrum scam.

Asked about the points he raised with Mr. Mukherjee during his visit, Mr. Karunanidhi said the general council meeting of the DMK to be held in Coimbatore would discuss all the issues and take a decision.

To a question, he said the general council would also discuss whether or not there was adequate representation for Tamil Nadu in the Union ministry. When his attention was drawn to special cells created by the State government to deal with land grabbing cases and the cases filed against DMK functionaries, he said he was looking into the complaints through advocates. “If there is land grabbing, the culprits should be brought to book,” he added.

To a question whether the DMK would function as the “real opposition” since the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) headed by actor Vijayakant had “failed to perform its duty”, Mr. Karunanidhi said, “The fact remains that the DMK is a party protecting the interests of the Dravidians and it does not matter whether it is in the opposition.”

When asked about the controversy over the uniform syllabus and the delay in supplying books to students even two months after reopening of the schools, Mr. Karunanidhi said while the students were not able to learn, their parents and those who had voted for this government remained helpless.

As regards the increase in the sales tax, he said the people were responsible for such a hike.