T R Baalu likely to land union cabinet berth
DMK's T R Baalu could be made an union minister, according to highly placed party sources.
His chances of landing a cabinet berth have become stronger in the backdrop of an imminent reshuffle, especially after A Raja's exit.
Baalu is keen to get back the shipping portfolio, which he held during the tem of UPA1. The ministry is currently run by G K Vasan of Congress.
According to sources, the DMK leader wants shipping because he wants to inaugurate the ambitious Sethusamudram project before the Tamil Nadu elections if the supreme court vacates the stay.
Speculation is rife in DMK that T R Baalu has regained the confidence of Karunanidhi, especially after Raja's fall from grace. Chemical and fertilisers minister M K Alagiri is also reported to be setting the stage for his exit from the centre to focus on Tamil Nadu politics. Strained for a suitable replacement for Raja at the centre, the party might just have to field Baalu.
However, Tamil Nadu Congress members hold that Baalu helped his own prospects by maintaining a low profile, culturing proximities to both the prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.