DMK may name Azhagiri, Maran, Raja for Cabinet berths

DMK may name Azhagiri, Maran, Raja for Cabinet berths

Chennai: The stalemate over DMK joining the UPA government appears to be heading for an end with the party on Sunday reportedly finalizing its candidates for the berths of Cabinet and Ministers of State (MoS) in which T R Baalu may be kept out.

Though there was no official word on the discussions DMK president M Karunanidhi held with senior party leaders collectively and individually through the day, reports said his son M K Azhagiri, grand-nephew Dayananidhi Maran and A Raja are likely to be inducted as Cabinet ministers.

DMK Rajya Sabha member and Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi may get into the council of ministers as a MoS with independent charge while three others from the party would be inducted as MoS.

Amidst reports that she may not join the government, Kanimozhi told reporters that “I have not opted out".

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

DMK sources said they were hopeful of a solution latest by tomorrow. More ministers are expected to be inducted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

Baalu had been a Cabinet minister since 1999, when he became the minister of environment and forest in the BJP-led government. He also had a stint in the Deve Gowda ministry as a minister of state for petroleum.

In the previous UPA government, he was the minister for surface transport and shipping.

Karunanidhi on Sunday held discussions for more than three hours with senior DMK leaders individually and collectively, but a final decision was yet to be taken.

The DMK, a key pre-poll ally of Congress, had on Thursday decided not to join the government, saying the Congress formula on ministerial allocation was not acceptable to it.

After being sworn in, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday had expressed hope that the DMK will “see reason" and reconsider its decision of not joining the government in the next few days by accepting the “reasonable" offer.

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