Thursday, February 29, 2024

Pranab likely to meet Karuna today

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to meet DMK chief M. Karunanidhi when he visits Chennai on Saturday, DMK party sources said. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the resignation of Dayanidhi Maran from the Union Cabinet.

“We were told that Pranab Mukherjee will come to Chennai to visit Kalaignar regarding the replacement for Maran in the cabinet. As of now, there is 80 percent chance that Mukherjee will meet Kalaignar,” a senior DMK leader said.

Meanwhile, Karunanidhi on Friday told reporters in Chennai that he had not sent a list of candidates to replace Maran, who resigned Thursday as union textiles minister over his alleged involvement in the 2G scam.

According to party sources, the names of senior DMK leader T.R. Baalu, AKS Vijayan and spokesperson of the party TKS Elangovan are doing the rounds as possible replacements for Maran and A. Raja, who had to quit the cabinet last year in connection with the alleged scam.

Meanwhile, coming to the defence of Home Minister P Chidambaram, the government on Friday insisted that the former Telecom Minister had “no role anywhere” in the 2G spectrum allocation controversy and demands for his resignation were a “conspiracy” against him.

The government also justified the fact that minutes of a meeting between Chidambaram and the then Telecom Minister A Raja had not been recorded, saying it was not required.

“The demand for Chidambaram’s resignation is a conspiracy. Chidambaram had no role anywhere. Whatever and whenever decisions he took, he did so after consultations,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

He was responding when asked BJP’s contention that Chidambaram had a role in the 2G spectrum allocation and should resign.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was also present, claimed that Chidambaram had never recommended to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that start-up spectrum should be treated as a ‘closed chapter” and there was some confusion regarding it.

“His comments were about additional spectrum charges,” he maintained.

On the minutes of meeting between Chidambaram and Raja not being recorded, Bansal argued, “the meeting was not such where the situation warranted preparation of any minutes… The meeting was not required to record minutes.” (Agencies)

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