New Delhi : DMK leader Kanimozhi, the poet-daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, took oath as Rajya Sabha member Thursday at a small ceremony in Parliament House attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, indicative of the clout the regional party has in the ruling alliance.
Another DMK member Tiruchi N. Siva and Communist Party of India national secretary D. Raja also took oath in Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan's chamber.
Manmohan Singh presented a shawl to Kanimozhi after she took the oath.
The function was also attended by ministers P. Chidambaram, G.K. Vasan – both from Tamil Nadu – Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Prithviraj Chavan and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, apart from DMK ministers in the cabinet.
When asked if she would be the main representative of the DMK in the national capital, Kanimozhi said: "I don't have to become the voice of the party at the centre. There are a lot of senior leaders of DMK to shoulder responsibilities. Let me go my own way."
When nominated by the party to contest in the June 15 elections, the 38-year-old poetess-activist had promised she would use the opportunities provided by the party to "work for the issues I passionately believe in".
Kanimozhi is expected to be inducted into the cabinet after her cousin, former union telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran, was forced to step down following problems between their families.
She told reporters that she would join her party workers in the matters they had been highlighting, apart from taking up women's issues.