New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh late on Wednesday accepted the resignations of five Union ministers from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a day after the DMK withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Singh forwarded the resignation letters to President Pranab Mukherjee.
The Prime Minister allocated charge of the fertilizer ministry, vacated after DMK leader’s M.K. Alagiri’s resignation, to Srikant Jena, currently minister of state in the same ministry.
The other four DMK leaders who resigned are ministers of state D. Napoleon, S.S. Palanimanickam, S. Gandhiselvan and S. Jagatrakshakan.
Alagiri, son of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and the only cabinet minister from the party, and Napoleon met the Prime Minister separately to submit their resignations, raising speculation of differences within the party on pulling out of the UPA
The DMK, which on Tuesday ended its nine-year-old association with the UPA over the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes against Tamils during the civil war in that country, has 18 members in the Lok Sabha and six in the Rajya Sabha. The party ruled out supporting the UPA from outside or joining the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
DMK parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu told reporters that “as per the decision taken by Kalaignar Karunanidhi, we have handed over the resignation letter to the Prime Minister”. PTI