» Election » DMK-UPA deadlock near end, Baalu may be left out

DMK-UPA deadlock near end, Baalu may be left out

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 24, 2009 22:00 IST
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The deadlock over Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam joining the United Progressive Alliance government appears to have ended on Sunday.

The DMK, a key UPA ally, reportedly finalised its candidates for three berths for the party in the Cabinet and for four slots in the Ministers of State category, including one with Independent charge.

T R Baalu, who was the Shipping minister in the previous UPA government, may be kept out in the arrangement worked out during the discussions DMK President M Karunanidhi held with senior party leaders collectively and individually through the day in Chennai. There was speculation that Baalu may get the post of Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha.

Though there was no official word on the discussions, reports said Tamil Nadu chief minister's son M K Azhagiri, grand-nephew Dayananidhi Maran and A Raja are likely to be inducted into the Cabinet.

DMK Rajya Sabha member and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi may get into the Council of Ministers as a Minister of State with independent charge while three others from the party would be inducted as MoS.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi held talks on the next phase of government formation at the Prime Minister's Race Course Road residence on Sunday evening. The meeting was also attended by Congress chief's political secretary Ahmed Patel.

Union Minister Kapil Sibal, meanwhile, said at a felicitation function in New Delhi '60 more ministers are expected to be sworn in before the Parliament session starting from June one.'

A total of 19 Cabinet ministers were sworn in on May 22 along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Highly-placed Congress sources said the stalemate over DMK's participation in the Government will be sorted out before the next phase of government formation for which May 26 has been mentioned as probable date.

DMK sources said they were hopeful of a solution latest by Monday.

"It (stalemate) is in the process of being sorted out. I would call it no more than a hiccup," said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.

The portfolios for the 12 of the 19 Cabinet ministers who were sworn in last Friday in the first batch are also unlikely to be announced on Monday.

Reports doing the rounds are that Raja may get IT and Communication, Azhagiri Chemicals and Fertilisers and Maran Textiles. Kanimozhi is likely to get Women and Child Development.

The name of V Kishore Chandra Deo is doing the round for the post of the Speaker.

Names of some new entrants in the Lok Sabha like Mallikarjun Kharge (Karnataka) and Manicka Tagore (Tamil Nadu) are also being mentioned for induction in the ministry.

Other Congress probables include those comprising the 'young brigade' of Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, Naveen Jindal, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada.

Salman Khurshid is likely to get Minority Affairs ministry, held by A R Antulay, who was defeated in the elections.

The probable names in Trinamool Congress include Dinesh Trivedi, Sudip Bandhopadhyay, Sultan Ahmed and Mukul Roy.

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