Chennai, June 15: DMK president M. Karunanidhi Friday said his party does not expect any more ministerial berths in the union cabinet while underlining the party’s support to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for the president’s post.
Responding to queries whether he expects ministerial berths for the party as the two slots vacated by its members still remain vacant, Karunanidhi said: “We are not functioning expecting positions. The prime minister and United Progressive Alliance chairperson would decide on cabinet expansion. We do not trade our policies for positions.”
Speaking about the UPA’s presidential candidate, he said Mukherjee is a firm person who understands the economy and would decide fast.
Queried about former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s statement on the presidential race, Karunanidhi recalled a conversation with him when Kalam’s term was coming to an end.
“I met him (Kalam) in Delhi and asked whether he would desire to continue for a second term and he answered that he had no such wish. I don’t understand why he sought the position now,” Karunanidhi said.
Earlier in the day, Karunanidhi told reporters that in Tamil, Kalam also means kalagam or mutiny/revolt.
“Somehow there is mutiny/revolt in the presidential elections,” he said referring to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s decision to stick to her earlier decision of suggesting Kalam’s name.
The presidential election is scheduled to be held July 19.
Karunanidhi said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, through Defence Minister A.K. Antony, had informed him that Mukherjee was her choice for the president’s post.
Expressing his happiness on the choice of Mukherjee, the DMK leader, in a letter to Gandhi, congratulated her for the much awaited decision. “He (Mukherjee) will definitely be a priceless jewel on the crown of Indian democracy,” Karunanidhi wrote.
Karunanidhi also congratulated Mukherjee on him being chosen as the presidential candidate and wished him success while adding that his victory for the nation’s top post is foregone conclusion.
Asked about the electoral setback suffered by the Congress in the recent assembly elections and by-elections in Andhra Pradesh, and whether these losses would echo in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Karunanidhi said: “Victory cannot echo losses.”