In the first sign of a chink in the UPA’s armour, the beleaguered DMK broke ranks and supported the inclusion of the prime minister in the lokpal purview at the prime minister’s dinner on Tuesday.
Karunanidhi — sulking, as his daughter Kanimozhi is in jail for her alleged roles in the 2G scam — did not attend the dinner despite having been in Delhi.
One of the senior-most DMK leaders, TR Baalu, conveyed the party patriarch’s views at the dinner, which was attended by all the top UPA luminaries, including chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The dinner was hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek the support of UPA allies on the issue before calling an all-party meeting on the lokpal bill.
Other UPA allies, including Trinamool Congress leader and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party’s Praful Patel and Muslim League's E Ahamad, reportedly backed the government stand.
National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, too, is of the same view though he told reporters that his party would articulate its stand in Parliament.
Banerjee lent her support to the government even before the dinner started. She said, “It is not a big question... It hardly matters whether prime minister and chief justice are included. I am with the UPA."