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Congress makes last-ditch efforts to retain PMK in UPA

Source: PTI
March 24, 2009 14:05 IST
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Amid reports that Patalli Makkal Katchi has decided to join hands with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam for the Lok Sabha polls, Congress is making last-ditch efforts for its continuance in the United Progressive Alliance with senior Congress leaders set to hold talks with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

The Congress' efforts to retain the party in its fold come in the backdrop of intense speculation in Chennai that the PMK, which has six MPs, will pull out of the UPA coalition at the Centre.

Congress sources said Ramadoss, who was considering putting in his papers, may hold talks with senior party leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi. The speculation about Ramadoss' resignation started when the Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss left Chennai for New Delhi.

Tamil Nadu Congress leaders, who made last-ditch efforts to retain PMK in the alliance yesterday, said their bid was "unsuccessful" as the PMK founder S Ramadoss had "already made up his mind" to go with the AIADMK.

Virtually shutting its doors on the PMK, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi had said on Monday night that the DMK-led front in Tamil Nadu comprised only the Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Manitha Neya Katchi (floated by Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

Karunanidhi's reply came in response to a question about the composition of the DMK-led Front. His remarks came following his meeting with Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K V Thangkabalu and Congress Legislature Party Leader D Sudarsanam.

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