Congress did not approach DMK on portfolios issue: Azhagiri

May 24th, 2009 - 12:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh Chenni/New Delhi, May 24 (ANI): Senior Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and eldest son of party supreme M. Karunanidhi, M. Azhagiri, created a political controversy of sorts on Sunday, when he said that the Congress leadership had not discussed portfolio allocation with the DMK during their meetings in New Delhi last week.

He said that the decision on portfolios would only be determined after the Congress contacts his party leadership in Chennai.

Azhagiri’s controversial comment came as Karunanidhi was locked in discussions with senior party leaders till late Saturday night, grappling with the question of whether the DMK should accept ministerial berths and portfolios offered by the Congress.

With the second expansion of the cabinet taking place on Tuesaday (May 26), sources say the deal with the Congress could be clinched today.

Karunanidhi is faced with the dilemma of dividing the cabinet berths currently on offer between the family and the party.

Meanwhile, key Congress negotiator, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has said there are no differences of opinion with the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) party.

“There is no problem whatsoever with DMK (Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam). We had mutually decided that we would fix some other day to talk to each other because this time we did not have much time. The date of swearing in ceremony was already fixed. And it needed two-three sittings and even DMK itself also said that we’ll sit on some other occasions,” Azad said.

Durai Muruga, a DMK leader, said: “We have discussed all the issues of the party, you asked about joining the Centre and that was also discussed in the meeting and I cannot reveal all the discussed matter to press at the moment.”

Emerging as the third biggest party in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) after the Congress and the Trinamool Congress with 18 seats, DMK is believed to have demanded seven ministerial posts, which was not acceptable to the Congress.

Karunanidhi visited New Delhi on May 19 and held discussion with Prime Minister-elect Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, but the talks were stalled over allocation of cabinet berths.

While the move will not deprive Congress of a majority in parliament, it is seen as a blow to the coalition after it won a sweeping victory in the general election.

Other regional parties in the 543-member Lok Sabha have assured support to the Congress-led coalition of 274 members. (ANI)

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