A day after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance government on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the party's five Union ministers on Wednesday submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Eyebrows were raised when DMK chief M Karunanidhi's son M K Alagiri and D Napoleon did not go along with three other ministers -- S S Palanimanickam, S Gandhiselvan and S Jagatrakshakan -- to submit their resignations to Dr Singh at around noon.
Alagri, along with Napoleon, met Dr Singh an hour later to tender their resignations, fuelling speculation that he had reservations about how the decision was taken by the party.
The DMK, which formally ended its nine-year-old alliance with the UPA on Tuesday, has 18 members in the Lok Sabha and six Members of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. The party has ruled out supporting UPA from outside or joining the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
Alagiri was in charge of the chemicals and fertilizers portfolio with Cabinet rank. Napoleon, Palani Manickam, Jagatrakshakan and Gandhi Selvan were ministers of state.
"As per the decision taken by Kalaignar Karunanidhi, we have handed over the resignation letter to the prime minister," DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu told reporters.
Asked whether the party will join BJP-led NDA, Baalu, who accompanied three ministers to meet the prime minister, said, "No, never".
Karunanidhi has already ruled out outside support to the UPA government.
Meanwhile, DMK ally Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi's leader and Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Thol Thirumavalavan met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday afternoon and handed over the letter withdrawing support to the UPA government.
"Our government is not supporting the cause of our Eelam Tamil (Sri Lankan Tamil). So, I took this decision," he told reporters.
Baalu had met the President on Tuesday night to hand over the letter of the DMK, ending its alliance with the UPA.