Posts tagged ‘DMK’

July 25, 2011

Tie-up with Cong stays but no new ministers: DMK The DMK Sunday announced it would not nominate representatives for berths in the union cabinet left vacant after its tainted ministers resigned, but the alliance with the Congress will continue.

Speaking to reporters after the conclusion of party’s two day executive and general council meeting held in this Tamil Nadu textile town, Karunanidhi said the party will not send replacements for the two ministers, who had resigned, and the status quo will be maintained.

The two slots in the union cabinet fell vacant after the resignations of former communications minister A. Raja and former textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran.

Karunanidhi however stressed that his party’s relationship with Congress is intact.

He said the party is not seeking replacements owing to differences with Congress leaders in the state.

Karunanidhi chaired the executive council meeting Saturday and the general council meeting Sunday at Coimbatore, around 500 km from Chennai.

The two-day deliberations were overshadowed by the shadow boxing indulged by the party factions led by Karunanidhi’s two sons aspiring to be his political heir.

The rivalry between Karunanidhi’s sons – M.K. Alagiri and M.K. Stalin – that surfaced at the party’s council meeting Saturday was visible Sunday as well when a party veteran asked Karunanidhi to name a reliable leader to lead the party in the future.

At this, some started shouting “Thalapathi, Thalapathi (commander),” a sobriquet used for Stalin.

A lunch break was immediately announced.

Alagiri did not attend the post-lunch session.

Asked about this, Karunanidhi said that Alagiri did not boycott the post-lunch session.

At the party’s executive council meeting, supporters of Stalin wanted the party to elevate him which was opposed by members of the Alagiri faction.

The discussion on the succession issue was stopped with Karunanidhi wondering whether he should step down but other senior leaders stating that it was not the time to discuss about leadership change.

On Sunday, the party seemed to close the chapter on the succession issue, at least temporarily, with two resolutions lauding Karunanidhi as the most important leader of the Dravidian movement, saying that his services should continue to lead Tamil Nadu in future.

This, according to party insiders, was a signal to partymen that the talk of Karunanidhi’s succession was premature at this stage.

Tie-up with Cong stays but no new ministers: DMK In his media interaction, Karunanidhi said the party will stick to its inner party election schedule to queries about the leadership changes in the DMK.

The party will not change its leaders to suit media speculation, he said.

However, one of the 25 resolutions passed by the party Sunday was the constitution of a a seven-member committee to suggest ways for the organisational restructuring of the party.

The committee will be headed by party spokesperson and Lok Sabha member T.K.S. Elangovan.

Meanwhile the general council, which met for the first time since the party lost in the state assembly elections held in April, passed 25 resolutions Sunday.

However, none of them discussed the party’s relationship with the Congress or sending DMK’s representatives to the central government to fill the vacant slots.

The party leadership had earlier said the matter would be discussed and decided by the general council.

One of the general council resolutions flayed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for opposing bail for Karunanidhi’s daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail as a co-conspirator in the 2G spectrum scam.

Charging the CBI of acting in a discriminatory manner against Kanimozhi, the DMK said keeping her in jail for such a long time was against the principle of natural justice.

Another resolution hoped that both Raja and Maran would emerge clean on the charges against them.

On the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, the DMK said that there should be a referendum on providing equal rights for the Tamils there and that India should act to bring the war criminals to book.

The party also called upon the central government to implement the Sethu Samudram ship channel project project at the earliest.

On the proposed anti-graft Lokpal bill, the party said the prime minister should be covered under the anti-graft law.

The DMK’s general council also passed resolutions condemning the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu for foisting what it called false land grab cases against partymen and for not distributing the uniform syllabus text books to school students despite a Supreme Court order.

It also criticised the state government for scrapping a proposal to revive the Upper House in the state.


June 11, 2011

Tamil Nadu poll debacle: Congress mouthpiece blames DMK

DMKNew Delhi:  A split has been averted with the DMK deciding to stay with the Congress at the Centre despite an obvious strain in ties after the arrest of top DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja in the 2G scam. But an article in the Congress mouthpiece Sandesh has now blamed its southern alliance partner indirectly for the poll drubbing in the recent-held Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

The editorial said that the results in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were affected by 2G scam and Congress must not lose its vote bank due to mistakes of coalition partners.

The 2G scam led to much tension between the alliance partners – so much so that it led to speculation that the friendship may have reached a breaking point. But, at a meeting presided over by DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday, the party put all speculation to rest that it may pull out of the UPA government.

“The spectrum issue has been exaggerated by certain selfish forces. We don’t have any problem with the Congress,” Mr Karunanidhi said after the meeting.

The DMK has six members in the Union Council of Ministers.

Two senior DMK leaders have been jailed in connection with the 2G scam, including Mr Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi. The same telecom scam has also loomed over Mr Karunanidhi’s nephew, Dayanidhi Maran, who has been serving as Textiles Minister. Recent investigations by the CBI pointed to financial misconduct by Mr Maran, when he served earlier as Telecom Minister, had built pressure on him to resign.

The DMK also condemned the CBI for linking the 2G scam to Kalaignar TV transactions and said it will continue to fight the charges against its top leaders ‘legally’.

In Delhi, the Supreme Court is considering Kanimozhi’s application for bail. It was rejected by the Delhi High Court which cited her “political clout” and ability to influence witnesses as a major concern.

Mr Karunanidhi’s resentment with the Congress has been publicly expressed since his daughter was arrested on May 20 for accepting a bribe along with A Raja, who like her is now in Tihar Jail. Mr Raja who is also from the DMK was Telecom Minister till he resigned in November last year.

The CBI has charged Kanimozhi with accepting Rs. 214 crore as a bribe in the 2G scam which was allegedly masterminded by Mr Raja. The money was deposited with Kalaignar TV in Chennai, which is owned by Kanimozhi, her stepmother, and Sharad Kumar, who is also in jail.

The tension between the Congress and the DMK has also been created by the disastrous results of their alliance in the recent Tamil Nadu election. The Congress bullied the DMK into ceding a hefty amount of seats. The DMK went on to deliver one if its worst performances. The Congress did not fare well either.

March 7, 2011

DMK-Congress: From breakpoint to breakthrough?


New Delhi: The marriage between the DMK and the Congress may not be over after all. This evening, just before the DMK’s six ministers were scheduled to meet the Prime Minister to resign from the government, party leader MK Stalin announced that the Congress had asked for another day to reassess the demands that had pushed the relationship to breaking point.

Mr Stalin said that the Congress will get back to the DMK tomorrow on how many seats it wants if the two parties decide to contest the Tamil Nadu elections as partners – as they have done in the past. Over the weekend, the DMK declared it was pulling out of the UPA coalition at the Centre because the Congress wanted three more seats than the 60 it was prepared to share.

The attempt to reconcile comes after the political equivalent of a couples counselling session was held in Delhi this afternoon with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee meeting with senior DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran. Mr Mukherjee also phoned DMK chief M Karunanidhi in Chennai to petition for a 24-hour reprieve.  Mr Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi, said, “We can’t discuss every conversation in public. Negotiations are on and we will have a clearer picture tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, DMK ministers Dayanidhi Maran and MK Alagiri are meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi right now. Sources have told NDTV the Congress is likely to get 60 out of the 63 seats it wanted, and the DMK has also softened its stand on giving up winnable seats. It is likely that the PMK may lose three seats to accommodate the Congress.

The DMK has six union ministers and 18 MPs, allowing it to be an influential member of the coalition government at the Centre.

What has turned the allies into foes is the negotiation over what sort of role the Congress will play – first in the Tamil Nadu elections, and then in the state government if the DMK comes to power. Currently, the DMK government is supported “from outside” by the Congress – the latter is not part of the government. Elections in Tamil Nadu are scheduled for April 13. The Congress wants 63 seats, as opposed to the 60 that the DMK is prepared to part with. Also, the Congress has shortlisted some constituencies which have to be included in its share. That’s not acceptable to the DMK.

The split was first announced by the DMK on Saturday which apparently expected the Congress to respond with some serious TLC. The Congress instead chose to keep its distance, possibly emboldened by the fact that the Samajwadi Party has indicated it could replace the DMK in the coalition. On Sunday, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed the UPA government will not fall – with his 22 MPs, that’s not an empty promise.

In the 543-seat Lok Sabha, the half-way mark is 272. The Congress has 207 seats. Allies like the DMK push the UPA’s tally to 274 – just two more than that critical half-way mark.

The DMK’s 18 seats push the government into a minority. But Mulayam’s 22 compensate nicely.

Divorce over 2G scam?

While the Congress and the DMK argue publicly over seats, sources say the real cause for the break-up is the DMK’s entanglement with the 2G spectrum scam. One of the DMKs main men, A Raja, who was Telecom Minister has been arrested for siring the scam, which saw valuable frequency being given at throwaway prices to private companies. A 214-crore kickback from the scam was allegedly routed to a TV station in Chennai that’s owned largely by Mr Karunanidhi’s wife, and his daughter Kanimozhi, who is an MP and a close associate of Mr Raja’s. The CBI, in charge of investigating the scam, has raided the homes and offices of people closely associated with Kanimozhi, and she is expected to be questioned in the next few weeks by the CBI. The DMK is getting increasingly uncomfortable with the inquiry and what it might throw up. The Congress, on the other hand, is suggested to be wary of asking for votes with a political partner whose senior members seem tarnished by corruption.

March 5, 2011

DMK-Cong alliance to collapse?


The seven-year-old DMK-Congress alliance was on the brink of collapse on the issue of seat-sharing for the Assembly polls on Friday night with party chief M Karunanidhi saying the party’s high level committee would take a “proper decision” on the issue on Saturday.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi
DMK chief M Karunanidhi

In a statement in Chennai, he asked whether it was proper for Congress, which had agreed for 60 seats earlier, to now demand 63 seats over telephone.

The Congress stand that it would decide on the constituencies to be contested was highly improper, he said in a statement.

The DMK and the Congress have held three rounds of discussions on seat-sharing for the April 13 Assembly elections, but no headway could be made due to differences between the two parties.

Speculation was rife that the deal would be signed on Saturday.

Karunanidhi said right from 2004, when the two parties struck an alliance, the relationship between them were very smooth and the central and state governments were functioning without any confusion.

He said when poll talks were initiated between the parties, Congress was told that it would be given 51 seats, which was later increased to 53, 55 and 58. When AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad met him two days ago, it was agreed that the Congress would be given 60 seats, Karunanidhi said.

But after agreeing to sign the poll accord on Thursday, Ghulam Nabi Azad had retured to New Delhi without meeting him, Karunanidhi said.

The Congress demand for the constituencies of its choice was also “highly unfair and improper,” he said.

In 2006 Assembly polls, DMK contested 132 seats, leaving 48 to Congress, 31 to PMK and 23 to the left parties, he said.

After his meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on January 31, he had confirmed the alliance with the Congress.

It was decided that excess seats arising out of Left parties exit from the combine would be shared among both the parties after allocating seats to new entrants like Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and Kongu Makkal Munnentra Kazhagam, Karunanidhi said.

The DMK was left with only 122 seats (out of the total 234) after allocating 60 seats and the rest to allies, he said.

Under these circumstances, the party’s high level policy making committee, at its meeting tomorrow, would take “proper and appropriate decision” on the alliance issue, Karunanidhi said, virtually issuing an ultimatum to Congress that any decision on the alliance should be taken before the meeting.

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