TR Baalu represents DMK at UPA anniversary celebrations



New Delhi: Smarting under the electoral debacle and arrest of party MP Kanimozhi, DMK on Sunday made a token presence at the second anniversary celebrations of UPA-II where none of its six union ministers was present.

The DMK, the third largest constituent in the UPA coalition with 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha, was represented only by its Parliamentary Party Leader TR Baalu at the function held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence here.

Baalu was seen sitting next to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on the dais.

He came to Delhi from Chennai in the evening after a high-level DMK meeting presided by party chief M Karunanidhi, who decided to send him as the party representative at the function.

Six DMK ministers, including two in the cabinet rank - Dayanidhi Maran and MK Alagiri - did not attend the dinner, which saw the participation of leaders of other allies.

Sources said the decision to have a low-key representation was taken as the DMK is not in a celebratory mood with Kanimozhi in jail on bribery charges.

Earlier, in Chennai when asked about the DMK-Congress ties, Karunanidhi said, "It is not like what you think."

Upset over her arrest, Karunanidhi had on Friday said he was in a position like that of any father whose daughter faced a similar situation for no fault of hers.

In his letter to party cadres last night, Karunanidhi sought to blame the Congress for DMK's debacle in the recent Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

"This is a time when the DMK has suffered a huge defeat by losing power in the state. What are the reasons for the defeat? Whether it was the seats alloted to parties aligned with us or the constituencies forcibly taken from us or the the unprecedented restrictions imposed by the Election Commission?

"I don't want to go into these reasons now," he had said in the letter.

PTI