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Karunanidhi leaves for Delhi to discuss schemes

Written by: Staff
Chennai, Jun 4: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi left for New Delhi this evening by a Jet Airways flight, his first visit to the national capital after assuming office for the record fifth time.

Talking to reporters at the airport here, the Chief Minister said the visit was to pay a courtesy call on national leaders.

Stating that he had various demands to place before the Centre, Mr Karunanidhi said he would particularly discuss welfare schemes to be implemented in the state.

On whether he would discuss with Congress President Sonia Gandhi the political situation in Tamil Nadu, he said ''it will only be a courtesy call. If necessary, I am prepared to discuss that also (regarding sharing power with the Congress).' The Chief Minister was accompanied by Union Ministers Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja, State Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy, Public Works Minister Duraimurugan, Chief Secretary L K Tripathy and Finance Secretary K Gnanadesikan.

During his two-day stay in Delhi, Mr Karunanidhi is scheduled to meet among others President APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ms Gandhi.

He will also meet Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, besides calling on his long-time friends -- former Prime Minister V P Singh and former CPI(M) General Secretary Harkishan Singh Surjit. He is scheduled to return to the city on Tuesday evening.

The issue of Congress sharing power in the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu is expected to figure in the talks between Ms Gandhi and Mr Karunanidhi.

The rank and file of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee had openly demanded a share in the power as they didn not want to miss the ''golden opportunity'' of being part of the government in the state after nearly four decades.

Mr Karunanidhi is also likely to impress upon the Prime Minister to extend maximum financial assistance to the state for implementation of the welfare programmes promised in his party's election manifesto.


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