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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

DMK’s hectic parleys end; ready with names for Tuesday’s swearing-in

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Chennai, 26 May ( M.K.Azhagiri, DMK south secretary and CM’s son, who is tipped to become a cabinet minister, was the first among those probables to reach New Delhi today with his family members and supporters.

This is following the acceptance of the Congress formula of three cabinet slots and four Ministers of state after two days hectic parleys within the party.

Besides Azhagiri, Dayanidhi Maran and former union minister A.Raja are tipped to join the central government as cabinet ministers, filling the three cabinet berths offered to the DMK.

It is indicated, as per the latest information, Azhagiri may take over Chemicals and Fertilisers, Maran Textiles and Raja IT and Communications, the portfolio he handled in the last government.

The names of senior DMK leader T.R.Baalu and Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi seems to be out of the final list, the former being bracketed at one stage for Deputy Speaker’s post, it was said and the later having opted out not to settle anything less than cabinet rank or with independent charge. After the list has been finalized here, it seemed the Congress made it clear no deputy speaker’s post for its State alliance partner. That would keep Baalu out of the government.

For the Ministers of State slot, the following names seem final: S.Jagathrakshan, S S Palanimanickam, D. Napolean and S.Gandhiselvan.

Kalainger’s choice, a balancing act?

If Manmohan Singh hand picked some ‘bests’ for his cabinet in the first installment of 19 Ministers sworn-in, Kalaigner Karunanidhi is no less in his effort to make some balancing act to satisfy all sections.

Maran represents the city (Chennai); Azhagiri—south Tamil Nadu where he is DMK’s south secretary already; Jagathrakshan—Vanniyer community, which was the base for PMK’s pride, now routed; Raja—Scheduled castes, Dalits is strong force; Gandhiselvan—Kongu Vellalar Gounder community, which is raising as power group; Palanimanickam from Thanjavur, the rice bowl of (eastern) Tamil Nadu, also representing powerful Thevar community and Napolean from central Tamil Nadu.

But one section is glaringly left out—that is women (Kanimozhi or Helen Davidson, the lone MP (out of 40 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) elected from further down south, Kanniyakumari constituency could have filled the bill).

After the 2004 general elections, Karunanidhi played tantrums and had his say full, for the survival of the then government was almost on him. This time the Congress is more than comfortable with numbers (206) on hand, DMK’s bargaining power is down. Also for the UPA government at the centre, there are more parties queuing up to support from outside. DMK has to grab the opportunity open to it.

Moreover, the DMK government in the State is dependent on the Congress for its survival. He is fortunate as long as the Congress is not asking for participation in the government here, although local Congress leaders now and then make a hue and cry for the same.

DMK elects PP leaders

DMK today announced its Nagapattinam MP, A K S Vijayan as Parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha, while first time MP, T K S Elangovan is made the Whip. E.G. Sugavanam is the deputy whip, and K K Venugopal and Adi Shankar have been appointed treasurer and secretary respectively.

Earlier T R Baalu was appointed DMK’s Parliamentary party leader in both Houses at its Executive council meeting.

Congress aspirants from South

While there is activity at the DMK party circles, there is no hustle and bustle at the Congress party office. Tomorrow’s second list will have some names from Congress party from Tamil Nadu too. V Narayanaswamy, who got elected from Puducherry, is likely to be included. The names of Tamil Nadu’s has to be decided at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi, so all may be camping there.

- Asian Tribune -

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