Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Back from Delhi, Baalu meets CM at Yelagiri

CHENNAI: As suspense heightened over chief minister M Karunanidhi's hush-hush trip to the Yelagiri hills, DMK parliamentary party leader TR Baalu met him on Tuesday and is said to have briefed him on the recent developments in New Delhi. The interaction assumes significance coming as it does in the wake of Baalu's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday in New Delhi, ostensibly to seek flood relief assistance for the state.

Baalu had a brief interaction with the Prime Minister on Monday during which he is said to have handed over a memorandum from the chief minister, detailing the damages caused by heavy rains and floods across the state and seeking an interim assistance of Rs 1,600 crore. DMK sources say that Karunanidhi might have summoned the senior leader to get a briefing on the reactions in the capital to the spectrum controversy and also to guage the mood of the Congress leadership. Karunanidhi drove back to Chennai on Tuesday night.

With the DMK supremo leaving the city on Monday morning for quiet rumination in the Yelagiri hills, the indications were that Karunanidhi had sought solitude, away from pressures from within the party and his family. During his two-day sojourn, Karunanidhi met a few of his close associates, including state law minister Duraimurugan and Union minister of state for information and broadcasting S Jagathratchagan. However, the chief minister's office denied that former Union minister A Raja had called on Karunanidhi at Yelagiri. While Raja stayed away from New Delhi on Monday, the last day of the winter session of Parliament, he chose to remain in Chennai.

No official reason was given for Karunanidhi's two-day visit to Yelagiri without the usual official paraphernalia or any of his family members in tow. According to party sources, Karunanidhi chose to take the two-day break to keep away from family members as well as sections within the party to "think over the various controversies troubling the DMK and to work out a solution to tide over the crisis". The usual flood of statements and letter to partymen' published regularly in the party organ Murasoli' were missing for two days. But with few people around him, the DMK patriarch is said to have relaxed in the cool hills, a change from his hectic official routine.

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