DMK-Cong dealock continues; Karunanidhi returns to Chennai
The DMK, a key pre-poll ally of the Congress, will stay out of the new government at least for now, providing outside support following a deadlock in negotiations with Congress over portfolios. DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunandhi told reporters before leaving for Chennai with other party leaders this morning that the party has decided to give outside support.
The DMK, a key pre-poll ally of the Congress, will stay out of the new government at least for now, providing outside support following a deadlock in negotiations with Congress over portfolios.
DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunandhi told reporters before leaving for Chennai with other party leaders this morning that the party has decided to give outside support.
Karunanidhi said the Congress has given a formula on ministerial allocation but he cannot give his views as an individual as the DMK's executive will discuss and decide on the issue after which only the party would say something.
A meeting of the DMK executive has already been convened in Chennai in New Delhi which will discuss the deadlock in the talks between the party and Congress on ministerial berth allocation.
On Thursday after several rounds of discussions in the last two days, the party announced that the Congress formula on ministerial allocation was not acceptable to it and the party would give only outside support.
There are various versions of what the DMK has demanded and what the Congress has agreed to give. Among them are that the party wanted cabinet berths for Karunanidhi's son M K Azhagiri, daughter Kanimozhi and grand nephew Dayanadhi Maran besides T R Baalu and A Raja apart from ministers of state berths for some others.
Congress spokesman Janardhan Dwivedi had last night reacted that the DMK was asking for too much and they should be more reasonable.
Sources said the Prime Minister was said to be against inclusion of Baalu and Raja, a stand the DMK is said to be resisting.
Congress sources said that party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had discussions till early hours this morning and decided to renegotiate with DMK.
Gandhi and Singh also made calls to DMK chief M Karunanidhi late last night in their last ditch attempt to mollify the Dravidian leader.
During the meeting at PM's residence, the Congress President took stock of the situation after DMK bargained hard for more berths in the Union council of ministers
The DMK is learnt to have demanded portfolios like shipping, surface transport, communications and environment.
Sonia and Singh discussed names from both Congress and its pre-poll allies for cabinet berths and allocation of portfolios to the council of ministers.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to be sworn in by President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhawan at 6.30 pm Friday.