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Tug-of-war in DMK: Why UPA II may suffer

October 22, 2012 11:08 IST

The United Progressive Alliance government will suffer a set back if ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam doest not contain the infighting between T R Baalu, leader of DMK parliamentary party, and Union Minister S S Palanimanickam, DMK's five time MP from Thanjavur constituency, over the new railway line in Thanjavur.

Insiders in DMK openly speak of their strategy during the upcoming winter session of the Parliament to revolt against Baalu -- that shall reflect on the floor coordination by the UPA II.

Interpreting this development, an insider commented that the spat between the DMK minster and MP will land UPA II in turbulence during the winter session, whenever the government needs the 18 votes of DMK.

Though it is an internal problem of the DMK, observers view it a threat to the DMK-Congress alliance and also to UPA II.

Few DMK MPs have been in constant touch with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and also Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, as these MPs do not belong to DMK family. These MPs are worried over the future of DMK as an organisation-post Karunanidhi era.

DMK MPs have decided to convey to party chief Karunanidhi against the dictatorial attitude of Baalu as chairman of the Railway Standing Committee, announcing many new rail projects without the approval of the Union minister of railway.

Union Minsiter S S Palanimanickam on Sunday revolted against T R Baalu, lodging a strong protest against the latter and his son T R Raaja, an MLA from Thanjavur.

Palanimanickam's grouse is very simple: that Baalu sidelined him when a new railway line was announced.  

The entire Tamil media is agog with speculation about the tug of war between the two leaders.

Palanimanickam, a staunch follower of social reformer EV Ramaswami Naicker, is a student of the Dravida movement and was jailed during anti-Hindi agitation and also in Emergency.

Insiders in DMK respect Palanimanickam as he is an original product of Dravidar Kazhagam -- the cadre for DMK party.

A Correspondent in New Delhi