T.R. Baalu to represent DMK at UPA anniversary celebrations

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Smarting under an electoral debacle, the DMK will make a token representation at the second anniversary celebrations of UPA-II in New Delhi today in which none of its six Union Ministers will be present.

The DMK, the third largest constituent in the UPA coalition with 18 MPs, will be represented by Parliamentary Party Leader T.R. Baalu at the function to be held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence this evening.

"DMK Parliamentary Party chief T.R. Baalu will attend it," party President M. Karunanidhi told reporters here when asked who would represent DMK at the dinner.

Six DMK ministers, including two with cabinet rank - Dayanidhi Maran and M.K. Alagiri, will not attend the dinner, which will see the participation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and leaders of other allied parties.

Asked about the DMK-Congress ties, Karunanidhi said, "It is not like what you think."

Sulking over his daughter and party MP Kanimozhi's arrest, M. Karunanidhi discussed with other leaders the issue of attending the celebrations till the small hours of the day.

DMK Ministers and MPs reached here from Delhi last night.

Sources said the decision was taken as the DMK is not in a celebratory mood with Kanimozhi in jail on bribery charges. Upset over her arrest, Karunanidhi had on Friday said that he was in a position like that of any father whose daughter faced a similar situation for no fault of hers.

He had also said the DMK general council would decide on future ties with Congress.

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