DMK and Congress re-open negotiations

CHENNAI, March 7 (Agencies): After maintaining a tough stand for 24 hours and threatening to carry out its decision to walk out of UPA government and call off its alliance with the Congress in Tamil Nadu, the DMK on Monday relaxed its posture and gave another 24 hours for the Congress leaders to resolve the crisis.  
Speaking to media persons, it was a visibly relaxed and even smiling deputy chief minister and chief minister Karunanidhi's younger son who told media persons that the Congress had sought one more day's time and that the DMK chief had agreed to extend the deadline and directed the DMK ministers to hold their resignations for the present.
While it was Stalin who came to brief the press in Chennai on Monday, which was somewhat unusual as so far it used to be either the chief minister himself or senior leader TR Baalu or the spokesperson who interact with media, in Delhi his elder brother and union chemicals and fertilizers minister MK Alagiri who led the talks along with union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran.
Ministers' resignation put on hold
Stalin, in a brief interaction with media, said that it was union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee who called and spoke to the chief minister twice in the course of the day and sought more time to sort out the seat sharing and other issues that brought the alliance to a break point. "As of now our ministers will not resign," Stalin said during his interaction in Tamil. A final decision, he said, would be announced on Tuesday evening.
As to the number of seats that the party could offer, he would not say anything. But DMK sources maintained that the party had offered the maximum it could and the ball was now in the Congress' court. The Congress-DMK standoff were being watched by other political parties with keen interest, but AIADMK sources said that even in the eventuality of a break up in that alliance, space within the AIADMK alliance was limited and might be difficult to work out agreement with new parties at such a late stage.
In the evening, AIADMK was expected to hold seat sharing talks and finalise its seat sharing understanding with the Left parties. Another AIADMK ally, filmstar Vijayakant-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), exuded confidence that even a joint DMK-Congress alliance was not much of a problem as the people in the state were thinking of a change as they were tired of the corrupt one family rule in Tamil Nadu.
"If the DMK and the Congress break up, it will be an easy walk over for our alliance," said Panruti Ramachandran, DMDK presidium chairman. "It is for the Congress to decide for itself whether for the sake of Tamil Nadu it wants to lose in India or for the sake of India it would like to lose Tamil Nadu," the DMDK leader said and in all probability the Congress may have to go it alone in the eventuality of the two alliance partners decide to call it a day.