New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi will not be present at the third anniversary dinner of the United Progressive Alliance-II (UPA-II) government which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is hosting Tuesday evening. However, representatives of the two leaders will attend.
Trinmool Congress sources told IANS that Banerjee will not be coming for the dinner as she was "busy in Kolkata.
They said Railway Minister Mukul Roy will represent the party at the dinner.
Banerjee's absence from the dinner comes at a time when she is pressing the central government hard for an interest payment moratorium for West Bengal.
She has also indicated her lack of enthusiasm for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as a possible presidential candidate.
Banerjee told a TV channel that lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were "best suited for the president's post.
She added, however, that it was for Congress party to decide whom it wanted to field in the presidential election.
Karunanidhi will also not be present at the dinner though DMK leaders did not give a reason for absence of the octogenarian leader.
DMK leader T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS that Karunanidhi will not be present but party MPs will attend the event.
Both Trinamool Congress and DMK are part of the UPA government at the centre.