Chidambaram meets Karunanidhi ahead of Parliament session

 P Chidambaram and M Karunanidhi
Chennai, Nov 13: Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday met DMK chief M Karunanidhi at the latter's residence amid speculation that relations were souring between Congress and its UPA ally. The leaders spoke over various issues for over 30 minutes although the DMK chief remained non-committal, sources said.

The relation between the two allies has been particularly good, thanks to several issues including price hike and seat-sharing in Tamil Nadu. The DMK also boycott the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday.

Although the Union finance minister said the meeting was only a courtesy call on the eve of Diwali, sources in both sides said the timing of the meeting was crucial. It is learnt that Chidambaram reportedly sought the DMK's support during the winter session of the Parliament starting on Nov 22.

A few important bills are expected to be introduced in the Parliament but it is believed that the opposition will leave little scope for smooth Parliamentary proceedings. The monsoon session of the Parliament was virtually washed off after BJP created a huge uproar over the Coalgate.

A senior DMK leader said Chidambaram and Karunanidhi discussed various issues that the Centre was facing with the Tamil Nadu government. Both national and state-level issues came up during the talks, it was learnt. The leader said Karunanidhi was quite upset with the Centre on various matters.

PM Manmohan Singh hosted Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party chiefs Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati last Friday and Sunday, respectively, in an apparent bid to secure support for his government. The UPA government has been reduced into a minority following the Trinamool Congress's pull out in Sept over issues like foreign direct investment and putting a cap on subsidised LPG cylinders. UPA leaders are wary of the TMC, which is likely to bring a resolution against the government over its economic decisions and also the opposition, which could create another uproar in the Parliament.

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