Monday, March 7, 2011

DMK rules out reconsidering its decision

New Delhi/Chennai, March 7, 2011

The seven-year-old alliance between DMK and Congress appeared headed for a break with the regional party on Monday ruling out reconsidering its decision to pull out of the Union cabinet, notwithstanding Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's appeal.

The DMK's Parliamentary Party leader, T.R. Baalu said Mr. Mukherjee called him on Sunday night and requested that the DMK chief should reconsider the decision to pull out his six ministers from the UPA Government .

"As of now, there is no reconsideration by the DMK," Mr. Baalu told reporters here at the party headquarters Anna Arivalayam.

Peeved over Congress demand for 63 seats as against the 60 agreed for the April 13 Assembly polls in the state, DMK had announced on Saturday its decision to walk out of the cabinet, saying it would extend only 'issue-based' support.

Meanwhile, the six DMK Ministers, including M.K. Alagiri and Dayanidhi Maran, reached Delhi and are scheduled to hand over their resignation to Prime Minister on Monday evening.

"The Prime Minister has given them (DMK ministers) time at 6.30 PM)," a PMO source said.

Earlier in the day, one of the DMK ministers, S.S. Palanimanickam met Mr. Mukherjee in Parliament House. "All the DMK ministers will assemble at Mr. Alagiri's residence and then meet the Prime Minister," he said after meeting Mr. Mukherjee.

Before leaving for Delhi, Mr. Alagiri said, "We will meet the Prime Minister and submit our resignation. Nobody from the Congress met our chief Karunanidhi".

"We will not accept anything that hurts our self respect, our pride," Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napolean said.

He said the DMK ministers will give their resignation "in accordance with the decision taken by the party and on advise of Karunanidhi".

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had negotiated with the DMK on seat sharing for Tamil Nadu assembly polls, said there was no breakthrough in the deadlock as of now.

"As of now there is no breakthrough. Let us hope.... (We will see) what is going to happen in the course of the day," Azad told reporters in Parliament.

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