Chidambaram hopes PMK's return to DPA fold

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Chennai, Aug 24 (UNI) Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today expressed hope that the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), ousted from the DMK led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu, might come back to the fold.

In a chat with newspersons after calling on Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi at the latter's Gopalapuram residence here, Mr Chidambaram said ''it will not be a surprise if the PMK comes back to the DMK fold..it can't be ruled out''.

He said the PMK continued to be very much part of the Congress led UPA at the Centre. The party had left the DMK led DPA in the state due to some differences at the local level, he said.

Mr Chidambaram said during his more than 30-minute long meeting with the Chief Minister, they discussed about the building of houses for tsunami victims with financial assistance of the World Bank.

He said the state government had so far constructed 20,000 houses with World Bank assistance and the government had again approached the bank for building many more houses, he said.

Mr Chidambaram said he also discussed with the Chief Minister about the delay in commencing work on a ship building yard and port to come up at Kaattupalli in Tiruvallur district.

Though the Cabinet has given its nod, there was delay in commencing work, he said, adding, after consulting Larsen and Toubro, a final decision would be taken by September 15 for the Rs 4000 crore project. About 12,000 to 15,000 people would get employment once the project was completed, he said.

For the Metro Rail project, all sanctions have been granted and the agreement for availing loan would be signed in the presence of the Chief Minister on September eight, he said.

He said land has been identified for a Medical College in his Sivaganga constituency and he was planning to invite the Chief Minister for laying the foundation for the college in September or October, he added.

UNI WS RP AS1507

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