R.K. Radhakrishnan and Shyam Ranganathan

Azhagiri, Raja and Dayanidhi Maran for Cabinet berths

Karunanidhi holds talks with MPs, Ministers and party leaders

Baalu’s absence at meetings was conspicuous

CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Sunday accepted the Congress offer of three Cabinet berths and sent a list of its MPs to the Congress leadership, DMK sources said here.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi held discussions through the day at his residences in CIT Colony and Gopalapuram here, but there was no official word on whom the party would nominate for the Cabinet berths.

The sources said the party’s south zone organising secretary, M.K. Azhagiri, under whose leadership the party won nine of the 10 seats in south Tamil Nadu; the DMK’s rising Dalit leader and fiery orator A. Raja; and the Chief Minister’s grand nephew, Dayanidhi Maran, were the names slated for the Cabinet posts. The Ministries on offer included Information Technology, Textiles and Chemicals and Fertilizers.

MoS slots

The DMK also has four Minister of State slots. One source confirmed that the names of the former Minister of State for Finance, S.S. Palanimanickam; Arakkonam MP Jegathrakshakan; Perambalur MP D. Napoleon; and Namakkal MP Gandhiselvan were in the list.

It is reliably learnt that Rajya Sabha member and Mr. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi has opted out of the race for ministership. When mediapersons asked her about this, Ms. Kanimozhi said this was not true. A decision would be taken only on Monday.

From the time Mr. Karunanidhi arrived at his CIT Colony residence around 8.30 a.m., party members and MPs started filtering in.

Among those who reached his residence were Mr. Raja; the party’s principal secretary, Arcot N. Veeraswami; State Ministers Durai Murugan, K. Ponmudy, and E.V. Velu.

The former Union Minister and current MP, Mr. Maran, arrived later in the day.

NSA’s visit

Around 10.30 a.m., National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan arrived, and after about an hour, he left the residence without talking to reporters.

From noon, the partymen started dispersing, but none was inclined to talk to journalists. Mr. Maran and Mr. Veeraswami persistently refused to answer questions.

“Talks on”

Mr. Durai Murugan said talks were going on and that the final decision would be out in due time.

The absence of party MP T.R. Baalu, touted to get a Cabinet berth, during these meetings was conspicuous.

Later in the evening, Ms. Kanimozhi also said talks were on and the decision would be announced on Monday. She also declined to answer questions on the party’s choices for Cabinet Ministers.

In the evening, Mr. Karunanidhi returned to his Gopalapuram residence and another round of consultations took place.

The Chief Minister also met Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan and poet V. Vairamuthu in the evening.

Stalin meets DMK chief

Around 7 p.m., the Chief Minister’s son and party treasurer, M.K. Stalin, arrived at DMK chief’s residence for the first time after staying away all day.

At 7.30 p.m., Mr. Karunanidhi was helped out of his residence into a waiting car, while Mr. Stalin followed in his car with Mr. Azhagiri, Mr. Raja and Mr. Maran.

With hands waving, the four left in the car, ending a day filled with negotiations but when no official decision was announced.

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