New Delhi: Amid speculation that she will succeed A Raja as Telecom Minister, DMK MP Kanimozhi on Monday said a decision on the issue will be taken by party president M Karunanidhi, even as she made it clear that the alliance with Congress is "as strong as ever".
Another DMK MP and former Union Minister T R Baalu, who is also said to be in the race to succeed Raja, also spoke in the same vain and said as of now the plum Telecom portfolio will be with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
A day after Raja resigned under relentless pressure from opposition parties, speculation was rife that either Kanimozhi or Baalu may be inducted into the Union Cabinet to fill the slot vacated by Raja.
Besides Raja, DMK has 2 cabinet ministers and 4 ministers of state.
Both Kanimozhi and Baalu said a decision on a new nominee will be taken by Karunanidhi and maintained that Raja and the party took the "conscious" decision just to allow smooth functioning of Parliament.
"It is a decision of DMK and Mr Raja that Parliament should function smoothly. It is a decision taken by them," she said.
On speculation that she was one of the prime contenders for a cabinet berth, she said, "Let us not speculate much into the issue. I have no comments to offer on this issue."
She said her party leaders will take a call on the new nominee.
Baalu said, "The conscious decision was taken to allow Parliament function.”
"The party leaders took the decision.... as far as the Telecom Ministry is concerned, it is with the Prime Minister now," the former Shipping Minister said.