Barkha Dutt: Hi Niira
Niira Radia: Hi, did I wake you up?
Barkha Dutt: No, no, no. I’ve been up, yaa, most of the night. The stalemate continues, yaa.
Niira Radia: Yeah. Listen, the thing is that they need to talk to him directly. That is what the problem is.
Barkha Dutt: Apparently now, the message from the other side is, that why did he go? Why did Baalu [T.R. Baalu, former DMK minister] go public? They claim that at this point will they had offered him this formula and this guys said, “no”. This guys never told them they were going to withdraw support. Not withdraw support. But outside support. Apparently, PM was really pissed off ' cause they had went public.
Niira Radia: But that’s Baalu’s doing, naa… he was not instructed by Karunanidhi to do that.
Barkha Dutt: Oh, he wasn’t?
Niira Radia: This is not. He was told to come away and tell Congress that.
Barkha Dutt: And he went public
Niira Radia: Well, the media… media, the media was standing outside.
Barkha Dutt: Oh God. So now what? What should I tell them? Tell me what should I tell them?
Niira Radia: I’ll tell you what it is—the problem and I have had a long chat with both his wife and with the daughter, right?
Barkha Dutt: Haan, haan.
Niira Radia: The problem is if the Congress has a problem with Baalu, if they have no problem with anyone. They need and go talk to Karunanidhi. They have very good relationship with Karunanidhi directly.
Barkha Dutt: Correct, haan.
Niira Radia: Because you see, in front of Baalu, in front of Maran, they can’t talk.
Barkha Dutt: Yeah
Niira Radia: So they have to tell him directly, there [are] enough Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu. They need to go in and tell him exactly—the biggest problem is that the following of Azhagiri is saying that you cannot give Maran a cabinet post and keep Azhagiri in the MoS state.
Barkha Dutt: That’s right. But will Karuna drop Baalu?
Niira Radia: He… look, if you tell him that Baalu is the only problem. I would imagine, he will drop him.
Barkha Dutt: But you see the problem right now is also over the choice of portfolios, naa…
Niira Radia: No. They’ve not said anything. The portfolios have not even got discussed.
Barkha Dutt: Congress claims, for whatever it’s worth, that the DMK wanted surface transport, power, IT, telecom, railways and health.
Niira Radia: Wo tho pehle se list gaya tha
Barkha Dutt: Haa, abhi Congress has offered IT, telecom, chemical, fertilizer and labour
Niira Radia: Yes
Barkha Dutt: So this is where it’ll stand off. Will DMK accept all (or both)?
Niira Radia: Maybe no, because they have to drop Maran if you want them to be accept… Maran is wishing coal and mine.
Barkha Dutt: Who’s wishing?
Niira Radia: Now Maran is saying, you give me coal and more mine. If he.. my honest advice to… is that you need to tell them… tell him directly that we are happy because Kani (M.K.Kanimozhi, Karundanidhi's daughter) got no issue about being even as independent but Azhagiri is now telling her that you cannot take an independent charge if Maran remains cabinet minister. And congress is sending messages through media and through various sources saying that… Maran is going around telling everyone that he is the only acceptable person.
Barkha Dutt: Ya, ya, ya. That I know.
Niira Radia: But that’s not correct na?
Barkha Dutt: No, I know and we’ve (NDTV) have taken that off… We’ve have taken that off.
Niira Radia: But also… Congress needs to tell Karunanidhi that we have not said anything about Maran
Barkha Dutt: OK. let me talk to them again
Niira Radia: Yeah? The choice of candidate we will leave to you. We have some reservation about Baalu. And let them tell the reservation. And we have not said anything about Maran. We are not asking…
Transcription by "Broadway" -- checked by OL