TN Cong wants power share, but CM talks tough | india | Hindustan Times
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TN Cong wants power share, but CM talks tough

DMK president and Tamil Nadu CM M. Karunanidhi has taken a tough line on the state Congress unit's desire to join the state government, reports MR Venkatesh.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2008 23:29 IST
M.R. Venkatesh

DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has taken a tough line on the state Congress unit's desire to join the state government.

Karunanidhi has said any move on power sharing would have to be initiated by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He added that power-sharing talks would also have to include neighbouring Puducherry, where the Congress government survives with DMK's outside support.

Late on Sunday night, Tamil Nadu Congress president K.V. Thangabalu voiced his party's wish to be part of the Karunanidhi-led ministry at a huge rally organised by the DMK in Tiruchirappalli, 350 km south of Chennai.

This was greeted by Karunanidhi's remark that his party was not averse to the idea if "Thangabalu is voicing the high command's wishes".

If such a proposal is made, "I am ready to talk to Soniaji on this issue," Karunanidhi said.

Union Ministers P. Chidambaram and G.K. Vasan were present at the function held in connection with the birth centenary of Dravidian leader C.N. Annadurai.

The recent exit of the PMK from the ruling coalition in the state and the Left parties withdrawing support to it over the nuclear deal has made the DMK more dependent on the Congress.

The DMK has 95 MLAs in the 234-member Assembly and needs the continued support of the 35 Congress MLAs to remain in power.

The Congress had been supporting the DMK-led government from the outside for the past two-and-a-half years but now wants to partake of power in Tamil Nadu.

In Puducherry, the situation is just the reverse, with the ruling Congress (with 10 MLAs) depending on the support of the 7 DMK legislators in the 17-member House.

By linking the issue of sharing power in Tamil Nadu with a similar arrangement in Puducherry, the DMK chief has put local Congressmen in a quandary.

"We do not know whether Thangabalu had the high command's consent in flagging this issue in public," said a senior Congressman here.