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DMK puts on hold ministers� resignation

By The Assam Tribune
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CHENNAI/NEW DELHI, March 7 � The DMK today put on hold the resignation of its six ministers from the UPA Government in a dramatic new turn with the party and Congress engaged in hectic negotiations to sort out their seat-sharing problems in Tamil Nadu, reports PTI.

On a day of hectic developments, senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee telephoned DMK chief M Karunanidhi twice and urged him not to pull out his ministers from the cabinet during the Budget Session and sought a day�s time to resolve problems.

�Pranab Mukherjee called our President M Karunanidhi twice during the day. The Congress has asked for a day�s time. So, the withdrawal of ministers from the government has been put on hold till tomorrow,� Deputy Chief Minister and DMK treasurer M K Stalin told reporters at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai.

Asked when the issue will be resolved, Stalin said: �they have asked for a day.�

DMK MP Kanimozhi said the talks between her party and the Congress were on still and that a �clear picture� will emerge only tomorrow.

The turn of events took place after Mukherjee held a series of meeting first with DMK minister Dayanidhi Maran followed by discussions with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi�s political secretary Ahmed Patel, Congress in-charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu Ghulam Nabi Azad and Home Minister P Chidambaram were present during the discussions between Maran and Mukherjee.

Shortly before the six ministers, including Maran and M K Alagiri, were to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and handover their resignation in the evening, Chidambaram met Mukherjee for a second time.

The Union Finance Minister then called Karunanidhi seeking a day�s time to come back with Congress� position on the seat-sharing issue.

Sources said that the DMK made it clear that the offer of 60 seats to Congress was final and that the choice of constituencies could be negotiated.

Late last night, Mukherjee called DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu and asked him to convey to Karunanidhi not to withdraw the ministers from the government. Baalu told reporters during the day that there was no question of reconsidering the withdrawal decision.

Notwithstanding the call, the six ministers left Chennai as scheduled in the morning for Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and tender their resignation.

The appointment with the Prime Minister was rescheduled from morning to evening and was finally called off in the evening against the backdrop of hectic talks between the two sides.

Congress sources in Delhi said a solution could emerge in a day or two and dismissed suggestions of a threat to the Central government.

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DMK puts on hold ministers� resignation

CHENNAI/NEW DELHI, March 7 � The DMK today put on hold the resignation of its six ministers from the UPA Government in a dramatic new turn with the party and Congress engaged in hectic negotiations to sort out their seat-sharing problems in Tamil Nadu, reports PTI.

On a day of hectic developments, senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee telephoned DMK chief M Karunanidhi twice and urged him not to pull out his ministers from the cabinet during the Budget Session and sought a day�s time to resolve problems.

�Pranab Mukherjee called our President M Karunanidhi twice during the day. The Congress has asked for a day�s time. So, the withdrawal of ministers from the government has been put on hold till tomorrow,� Deputy Chief Minister and DMK treasurer M K Stalin told reporters at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai.

Asked when the issue will be resolved, Stalin said: �they have asked for a day.�

DMK MP Kanimozhi said the talks between her party and the Congress were on still and that a �clear picture� will emerge only tomorrow.

The turn of events took place after Mukherjee held a series of meeting first with DMK minister Dayanidhi Maran followed by discussions with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi�s political secretary Ahmed Patel, Congress in-charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu Ghulam Nabi Azad and Home Minister P Chidambaram were present during the discussions between Maran and Mukherjee.

Shortly before the six ministers, including Maran and M K Alagiri, were to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and handover their resignation in the evening, Chidambaram met Mukherjee for a second time.

The Union Finance Minister then called Karunanidhi seeking a day�s time to come back with Congress� position on the seat-sharing issue.

Sources said that the DMK made it clear that the offer of 60 seats to Congress was final and that the choice of constituencies could be negotiated.

Late last night, Mukherjee called DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu and asked him to convey to Karunanidhi not to withdraw the ministers from the government. Baalu told reporters during the day that there was no question of reconsidering the withdrawal decision.

Notwithstanding the call, the six ministers left Chennai as scheduled in the morning for Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and tender their resignation.

The appointment with the Prime Minister was rescheduled from morning to evening and was finally called off in the evening against the backdrop of hectic talks between the two sides.

Congress sources in Delhi said a solution could emerge in a day or two and dismissed suggestions of a threat to the Central government.

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