Cabinet expansion: Narayanasamy talks with Karuna

Chennai: With speculations rife about a Union cabinet reshuffle, the Congress has discussed the issue with DMK, the largest ally of the UPA with 18 MPs after the exit of the Trinamool Congress.

Union Minister V Narayansamy called on DMK chief M Karunanidhi here on Tuesday but the latter is learnt to have turned down the offer for the induction of his party MPs in the Manmohan Singh-led cabinet, party sources said.

The DMK chief, whose party’s quota of two Cabinet portfolios remain vacant after the exit of A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran over the 2G spectrum allocation scam, is not keen to have them filled, party sources said, adding, the same had been conveyed to Narayanasamy, who came as the Prime Minister’s emissary.

DMK, which lends crucial support to UPA, has not been pressing for induction of its party men into the cabinet and Karunanidhi gave enough hints when he said that such issues are only discussed at the key decision-making bodies of the party like Executive or General Council.

Even in the last reshuffle, DMK was not given any berth.

In an embarrassment to the UPA, Karunanidhi had extended his party’s support to the September 20 nation-wide bandh called by opposition parties against the Centre’s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in retail trade and increase diesel price.