Monday, May 23, 2011

Quiet dinner and promises mark UPA-II's second anniversary

Quiet dinner and promises mark UPA-II's second anniversary Earlier, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, whose daughter and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi was sent to judicial custody earlier this week, had dispatched his parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu for the event, after much debate.

Another DMK leader and former communications minister A. Raja was already in judicial custody last month for the same case, which has caused much embarrassment to the UPA government in general and the DMK in particular.

The DMK has 18 members in the Lok Sabha -- one member less than the second largest constituent of the UPA, the Trinamool Congress - and seven members in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress party has 207 members in the Lok Sabha.

Other leaders at the dinner included Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel of the Nationalist Congress Party, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Mukul Roy of the Trinamool Congress and E. Ahamed of the Indian Union Muslim League.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad, though not a constituent of the UPA, was also present, so were all the Congress party state chief ministers, including newly elected Tarun Gogoi of Assam and Oommen Chandy of Kerala.

Mamata Banerjee, who assumed office as West Bengal chief minister in Kolkata Friday after resigning as the railway minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet, also did not attend the event.

Image: Congress party president Sonia Gandhi gestures to DMK Parliamentary Party chief T R Baalu as she prepares to address a dinner to mark the UPA government`s second anniversary in New Delhi on Sunday.

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