PM reaches out to sulking Karuna | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM reaches out to sulking Karuna

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday reached out to the DMK after he took office, asking ally to see reason, reconsider; breakthrough likely before Tuesday, reports HT Political Bureau.

delhi Updated: May 23, 2009 00:32 IST
HT Political Bureau

Asks ally to see reason, reconsider; breakthrough likely before Tuesday

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday reached out to the DMK after he took office, hoping that it would “see reason” and reconsider its decision of not joining the government in the next few days by accepting the “reasonable” offer.

Singh said, “Whatever UPA offered (to DMK) is reasonable. They (DMK) are our respected colleagues. We still hope in the next few days they will reconsider their decision.”

Asked if he had reservation over any names, the PM said it was not a matter of individuals. “They are our honoured colleagues. There is no question about having any reservation. We wanted a concentrated focus on the infrastructure sector that needed some reorganisation,” he said.

In Chennai, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi held meetings with party leaders. Dayanidhi Maran said, “We are allies, though there may be ups and downs in negotiations.”

The Congress’s offer included telecom but not shipping and surface transport. In lieu of environment and forests — which the DMK gave up in the previous government when A. Raja was shifted to telecom — they were asked to select from the portfolios of textiles, labour, food processing and the micro, medium and small enterprises.

The talks broke down because the Congress refused to improve the offer. As Karunanidhi left for Chennai, the Congress was in no mood to mollify the DMK with a better offer.

If the DMK accepted the offer, telecom will go to Dayanidhi Maran and not Raja. Likewise, T.R. Baalu will have to settle for a ministry other than shipping and transport.

The Congress hoped to swear in Farooq Abdullah and E. Ahmed in the next phase to isolate the DMK. That would give it negotiating advantage over Karunanidhi.

It was a phone call from the prime minister to Karunanidhi on Thursday evening that had signaled the deadlock over allocation of ministerial berths.

Singh conveyed to the DMK chief his views over accommodating some MPs in the Union Cabinet, according to DMK sources. The DMK chief got the impression that the PM did not want to start his second innings with ‘tainted’ names following his experience in the first term when leaders like Shibu Soren and Taslimuddin had to be eased out because of cases against them, the DMK sources felt.

Karunanidhi appeared upset after his phone conversation with the PM. He decided to return to Chennai, asking Baalu to announce that the party would stay out of the government but provide support from outside.

The DMK wanted nine ministries (five Cabinet berths and fours Ministers of State). The Congress offered the party three Cabinet posts and three Ministers of State.

PM reaches out to sulking Karuna

Asks ally to see reason, reconsider; breakthrough likely before Tuesday

HT Political Bureau
New Delhi, May 22

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday reached out to the DMK after he took office, hoping that it would “see reason” and reconsider its decision of not joining the government in the next few days by accepting the “reasonable” offer.

Singh said, “Whatever UPA offered (to DMK) is reasonable. They (DMK) are our respected colleagues. We still hope in the next few days they will reconsider their decision.”

Asked if he had reservation over any names, the PM said it was not a matter of individuals. “They are our honoured colleagues. There is no question about having any reservation. We wanted a concentrated focus on the infrastructure sector that needed some reorganisation,” he said.

In Chennai, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi held meetings with party leaders. Dayanidhi Maran said, “We are allies, though there may be ups and downs in negotiations.”

The Congress’s offer included telecom but not shipping and surface transport. In lieu of environment and forests — which the DMK gave up in the previous government when A. Raja was shifted to telecom — they were asked to select from the portfolios of textiles, labour, food processing and the micro, medium and small enterprises.

The talks broke down because the Congress refused to improve the offer. As Karunanidhi left for Chennai, the Congress was in no mood to mollify the DMK with a better offer.

If the DMK accepted the offer, telecom will go to Dayanidhi Maran and not Raja. Likewise, T.R. Baalu will have to settle for a ministry other than shipping and transport.

The Congress hoped to swear in Farooq Abdullah and E. Ahmed in the next phase to isolate the DMK. That would give it negotiating advantage over Karunanidhi.

It was a phone call from the prime minister to Karunanidhi on Thursday evening that had signaled the deadlock over allocation of ministerial berths.

Singh conveyed to the DMK chief his views over accommodating some MPs in the Union Cabinet, according to DMK sources. The DMK chief got the impression that the PM did not want to start his second innings with ‘tainted’ names following his experience in the first term when leaders like Shibu Soren and Taslimuddin had to be eased out because of cases against them, the DMK sources felt.

Karunanidhi appeared upset after his phone conversation with the PM. He decided to return to Chennai, asking Baalu to announce that the party would stay out of the government but provide support from outside.

The DMK wanted nine ministries (five Cabinet berths and fours Ministers of State). The Congress offered the party three Cabinet posts and three Ministers of State.