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DMK scotches succession issue – mum on cabinet replacements

Coimbatore: Meeting in the backdrop of a series of setbacks, the DMK General Council on Sunday scotched the succession issue in the party and remained silent on replacements in the Union Cabinet for two of its nominees who quit over the 2G scam.

The meeting, chaired by DMK President M Karunanidhi, accused the CBI of `bias` in opposing the bail plea of his daughter and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum case while backing her, A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, who bowed out of the Union Cabinet over the scam.

The top decision making body of DMK, a partner of UPA, also chose to remain silent on the issue of its ties with Congress, despite indications earlier that a section of leaders was against continuing the seven-year old alliance.

In a clear message to the warring siblings Union Minister M K Alagiri and M K Stalin against raking up the succession issue, the meeting adopted a resolution saying Karunanidhi would continue to lead the Dravidian movement.

Supporters of Stalin had yesterday vociferously pitched for a greater role for their leader which was resented by Alagiri`s followers. The issue was ultimately laid to rest by an upset Karunanidhi himself who reportedly asked the Executive meeting whether they wanted him to step down.

Devoting a significant portion of the resolution to the 2G issue, the General Council said Kanimozhi had been kept in jail for long which it said was against the `principle of natural justice`.

Karunanidhi has repeatedly made his displeasure known over the continued imprisonment of his daughter and had even blamed the Centre for her plight.

The CBI`s act of `scuttling Kanimozhi coming out on bail is motivated and biased,` the resolution said pointing out that the court before which the case was pending had itself asked the investigating agency whether it was its intention that the accused should remain in jail.

The resolution also said Union Law Minister Salman Kurshid, his predecessor Veerappa Moily and BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha had opined that till one was pronounced guilty `there is no need to keep the accused behind bars.`

It said Kanimozhi has been charged in a case `unconnected` to the 2G scam merely because she was holding a 20 per cent share in the largely family-owned Kalaingar TV, which is under the CBI scanner over its monetary transaction with DB Reality.

Contrary to expectations, the general council did not take any decision on two cabinet berths allocated to the party as replacements for Raja and Maran.

After the recent cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that two berths have been kept for the DMK following which Karunanidhi had said the party would take a view on it at the general council meeting.

Recalling Karunanidhi`s role in the Dravidian movement, a resolution lauded him for his services to the Tamils and the state. "The Dravidian movement continues to be led by Karunanidhi," it added.

Yet another resolution supported Karunanidhi`s stand that the Prime Minister should also be brought under the ambit of the proposed Lokpal.

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