Karuna talks tough; Cong working out numbers

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M Karunanidhi
Chennai, Mar 7: The DMK is playing hard-to-please and is keeping the government waiting with baited breath. After news of the flip-flop between DMK leaders who are in New Delhi negotiating and re-negotiating, they have still not been able to make a headway to break the deadlock.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee after holding talks through telephone with DMK Chief M Karunanidhi today (Mar 7) expressed hope that the relationship issues would be ironed out soon. A DMK source have revealed, “Pranab spoke to the CM for more than half an hour and we have decided to resume talks."

DMK's Parliamentary Party leader TR Baalu who has been spearheading the talks with bigwigs in Tamil Nadu and Centre initiated the talk between Pranab and Karunanidhi and has sought some more time to set things right. Karunanidhi has however given the UPA some breathing space by saying that the Minister's resignations has been put on hold and that nothing more than the 60 allotted seats can be conceded.

The DMK Chief has also conveyed in no-less terms that the Congress would not get all the constituencies identified by them. There was major haggling for seats and the DMK does not want to loose its upper hand in the state. After talks were on for 90 seats for the Congress, that later fell to 63. The DMK however reiterated that they are in no position to offer more than 60 seats. The DMK has assigned Union minister for textiles Dayanidhi Maran to carry on the talks for the DMK in the Centre.

The final round of talks between DMK leaders and the Prime Minister is expected to be held at 6:30pm today.

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