Congress-DMK ties strong, intact, assert PM, Karunanidhi

Monday, January 3, 2011

CHENNAI - Putting to rest speculation about a strain in the Congress-DMK ties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday spoke in one voice after their meeting here and said the alliance was “strong” and “intact”.

Manmohan Singh, who met the DMK leader here, said the relationship was “strong and cordial”.

“The alliance with the DMK is strong and cordial,” Manmohan Singh told public broadcaster Doordarshan on the sidelines of the 98th Indian Science Congress.

Karunanidhi, who did not receive or meet the prime minister Sunday, called on Manmohan Singh Monday morning at Raj Bhavan.

The meeting, which lasted 25 minutes, was the first between Manmohan Singh and Karunanidhi after the raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the houses and offices of DMK MP and former communications minister A. Raja and his associates in connection with the 2G spectrum scandal.

Following the raids, Raja was forced to quit the union cabinet in November and was also questioned by the CBI in New Delhi.

There were media speculations that the Congress and the DMK ties may have hit a roadblock as Karunanidhi was not happy over Raja being questioned.

But it seems the 2G row has not affected their political ties.

“The alliance is intact,” Karunanidhi told reporters and clarified that he could not meet Manmohan Singh Sunday due to a prior engagement.

The chief minister submitted a memorandum to the prime minister, demanding faster disbursal of flood relief. Tamil Nadu had earlier asked the central government for flood relief to the tune of Rs.1,800 crore. The state was lashed by heavy rains and floods in November last year.

Manmohan Singh is in Chennai to attend the 98th Indian Science Congress at the SRM University in Kattankalathur near here.

The prime minister was earlier scheduled to inaugurate the DMK government’s showpiece Adyar Eco Park Monday. However, the programme was cancelled as the project was not cleared by the union environment ministry.

The prime minister was received by Tamil Nadu’s Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin - Karunanidhi’s son - at the airport Sunday as the chief minister said he was busy with some other engagement.

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