DMK Agrees to Join Govt, Sacrifices Baalu

Consenting to the Congress offers on ministerial berths, the DMK – as it hinted yesterday – has decided to be the part of the UPA government.

According to reports, Union Shipping Minister TR Baalu will be dropped from the government this time around, while other DMK leaders – M K Azhagiri, A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, will get Cabinet portfolios. Maran will get the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. As for the four ministers for state, the party will decide on their names soon.

Sources in the Congress informed that the party would not object to any names the DMK proposes for ministerial posts.

It may be mentioned that the DMK gave its consent to these posts after party chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi met senior leaders individually at his residence in Chennai.

After several rounds of talks on sharing of ministerial berths failed, the DMK announced on Thursday night that it would support the UPA government from outside. Manmohan Singh was sworn in as prime minister as well as 19 others as ministers on Friday. The portfolios of six ministers were announced on Saturday.

A new round of ministers is expected to be sworn in this week, most probably on Tuesday.

The Congress-led UPA commands 322 seats in the new Lok Sabha. The DMK, a major pre-poll ally, has 18 seats and has been bargaining hard for ministerial berths to party leaders, including members of the Karunanidhi family.

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