Tie-up with Cong stays but no new ministers: DMK
Coimbatore: 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.
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.