Pranab Mukherjee appeals to DMK; patch-up unlikely
The DMK-Congress alliance appeared headed for a break with six Union ministers of the regional party set to resign today even as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee appealed to Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi to reconsider his decision to pull out of the UPA government.delhi Updated: Mar 07, 2011 11:37 IST
The DMK-Congress alliance appeared headed for a break with six Union ministers of the regional party set to resign today even as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee appealed to Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi to reconsider his decision to pull out of the UPA government.
DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu said that Mukherjee called him on Sunday night to convey to Karunanidhi that he and the party should review the decision to pull out of the government.
Baalu said he told Mukherjee that the decision was taken by the party's high-powered committee after deep thinking and considering all factors.
He also told the Congress leader that he would convey his views to the DMK chief.
However, DMK sources said there appeared to be little likelihood of a reconciliation.
The six ministers, including MK Alagiri, will meet the Prime Minister in Delhi and hand over their resignation.
Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, in-charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu, met Mukherjee on Sunday night and discussed the situation in the state.
During the two-hour meeting, the party's strategy to deal with the developments in the southern state were discussed by the two leaders.
The two leaders will meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and brief them about the situation in Tamil Nadu.
After seat-sharing talks between the two parties collapsed, the DMK announced on Saturday its decision to withdraw its ministers from the Manmohan Singh cabinet.
The DMK on Sunday seemingly hardened its stand even not ruling out Left parties joining its alliance.
After an informal meeting with his party leaders, Karunanidhi had hinted about the possibility of Left parties joining the alliance.
"Yes," he told reporters when asked whether there was a possibility of Left parties joining the DMK-led alliance.
To a question, Karunanidhi had said the Congress' demand for 63 seats over the agreed number of 60 was one of the reasons for the DMK's decision.
In Delhi, highly-placed Congress sources said the party has not yet taken any decision and was keeping "all options" open.
"Let the DMK ministers meet Prime Minister (to submit their resignation)...let us see what happens," they said.
Union chemicals minister and Karunanidhi's son Alagiri had said in Chennai that his party did not expect the Congress to "come back" for a possible patch up.
"I am happy," he said when asked about DMK's decision to pull out of the UPA cabinet of which he is a part.
He claimed Congress' exit from the alliance will not have any impact on DMK's poll prospects.