The ties between Congress and the DMK, its alliance partner for seven years, are strong and there is no strain between the two parties. This was made clear by Congress party veteran trouble shooter and union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday after he met the DMK patriarch, M Karunanidhi with whom he enjoys a close rapport.
This was the first meeting between the two parties since former textile minister Dayanidhi Maran's resignation over his involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.
The union finance minister told mediapersons after his one hour long meeting with the DMK supremo at his Gopalapuram residence on Saturday morning on his visit to Chennai to participate in a function of Indian Bank.
Mukherjee said, "It was his practice to call on Kaurnanidhi whenever he was in Chennai and today was no exception".
"It is my first visit to Chennai after assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and there have been some media reports about strain in relations between two alliance partners. There is absolutely no problem with the alliance with DMK, which is going strong and will continue," he said.
Asked if the two leaders discussed the cabinet reshuffle or DMK replacements, the Congress leader chose to sidestep the question as he deftly avoided answering or commenting on the presence of former union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran, two days after his resignation from the union cabinet following indictment by CBI for his role in 2G spectrum scam.
Among the others present at the meeting were TNCC presidnet KV Thangkabalu and union minister for department of personnel and training V Narayamswamy, DMK leader TR Baalu.
None of the DMK leaders made any comment on either the meeting or DMK's nominees in the council of ministers following the resignation of two DMK ministers from the cabinet.
The DMK on its part would discuss the issue of relations with the Congress at its general council meeting scheduled for July 23 and 24 at Coimbatore.
with inputs from HT correspndent.