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Problem with Baalu, Palanimanikkam's portfolios

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 24, 2004 15:36 IST
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Unhappy over the portfolios allotted to its ministers, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has decided not to assume office till "the mistakes are rectified," party president M Karunanidhi said in Chennai late on Sunday night.

In a statement issued beyond midnight, he said, "Some days ago, certain portfolios were promised for the DMK members of Parliament and a letter to this effect was given to the party by Congress leader Janardhan Reddy.

"But the portfolios announced have gone contrary to the assurances given in the letter," he said, adding, "The DMK has
therefore decided that its ministers will not assume office till the mistakes are corrected."

According to senior party leaders the Congress had initially offered shipping and transport to T R Baalu, but he was allotted road and surface transport.

S S Palanimanikkam, who has been made minister of state in commerce and industries ministry, was expected to be made minister of state in the finance ministry.

"Barring these two ministries, all other allocations are in order," said a senior DMK leader said in New Delhi.

The DMK has seven ministers in the Congress-led coalition government with three of them -- T R Baalu, Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja -- holding cabinet rank.

The DMK also has four ministers of state in the Union council of ministers.

Baalu held a series of meetings with his party colleagues at his 10, Raisina Road residence in the morning.

When contacted, his private secretary told that none of the ministers would be speaking to the media and for any reaction the party headquarters in Chennai should be contacted.

Two DMK ministers -- K Venkatpati and S Raghupati -- did not move out of their rooms in Tamil Nadu House in the morning. Reporters were not allowed access to them.

With inputs from Onkar Singh in New Delhi


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