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But DMK Wants Its Pound Of Flesh

But DMK Wants Its Pound Of Flesh

Author: Dravida Thambi
Publication: Free Press Journal
Date:

Having stunned pol sters and analysts with a impressive victory in th Lok Sabha elections, bag ging 18 seats in Tamil Nadu the DMK is likely to seek lion's share in the Unio Cabinet.

The DMK wants to be r warded with seven berth while the number of portfo lios the party gets will hav to be weighed against that o the Tranmool, the other ke pre-poll ally of the Congres the problem lies in the allo cation of portfolios.

Karunanidhi himself i learnt to be in a dilemma a there are too many asp rants for ministerial post this time, including thre from his own extended fam ly. Informed sources withi the DMK said the party wa eyeing key portfolios, includ ing the Petroleum Ministr Shipping, HRD, Health, In formation Technology an Communication and Rai ways - all of Cabinet rank In addition, it is hoping t accommodate some con tenders as Ministers of Stat in the Ministry of Law Com pany Affairs and JusticeHome and Finance, a position in which its representatives had served in the outgoing Cabinet. It is believed that the DMK will eventually not insist on the Railways portfolio, since the Congress might give it to Mamata Banerjee. Likewise, it is unlikely that the Congress would part with the Human Resources Development Ministry.

Karunanidhi is keen on securing either the Petroleum or Shipping and Surface Transport Ministry for his second son M K Azhagiri who had won by a huge margin of over 1.4 lakh votes in Madurai.

The octogenarian politician is under moral pressure to reward Azhagiri as he ensured the victory of as many as nine out of ten candidates in southern Tamil Nadu, a fortress of the AIADMK. Besides, he was responsible for the success of the DMK and the Congress in three Assembly by-elections since 2006 in Madurai. T R Baalu, a senior DMK leader, currently holds the Shipping Ministry. The Chief Minister's third wife Rajathi Ammal is also learnt to be exerting pressure on him to get either Health or Tourism Ministry for her daughter Kanimozhi, who is a Rajya Sabha MP. However, it is expected that he may convince her to settle for a Minister of State with Independent Charge. Karunanidhi's grandnephew Dayanidhi Maran is also haggling for the plum Information Technology and Communication Ministry, which he had held before quitting due to a family feud two years ago.

However, some senior leaders in the party are advising the Chief Minister against acceding to this request, but given Dayanidhi's persuasive nature he might well get into the Cabinet.

The party may rest T R Baalu this time since he has been in the cabinet for most part of the last 13 years. However, he is close to Rajathi and therefore may not agree to the proposal.The DMK might want to retain controversial Information Technology Minister A Raja to give representation to a Dalit but the Prime Minister is averse to that. In addition, the party might nominate one of the five MPs who had defeated the candidates of its bitter political rival the PMK. Amidst great expectations from aspirants, the party's executive committee is meeting in Chennai on Monday to discuss the issue.


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