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Will DMK ministers pull out of UPA today?

Last updated on: June 10, 2011 09:43 IST

Will DMK ministers pull out of UPA today?

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An upset M Karunanidhi could decide on Friday on the withdrawal of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ministers at the Centre at a meeting of the party's top brass in Chennai.

This is the impression gaining ground in Congress circles in Chennai ahead of the emergency meeting of the DMK's high-level action committee.

The meeting, the first after DMK's drubbing in the assembly polls in which it finished a poor third, is being held in the wake of the Delhi high court denying bail to DMK MP and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum case. She is currently in Tihar jail.

The DMK's direction to all members of the Committee to "participate in the meeting without fail" has fuelled talk in Congress that an important decision is likely to be taken by the Dravidian party on Friday.

Of late, the 87-year old DMK patriarch has been critical of the Congress, telling the cadres that "bad friendship ends in trouble". He had on Sunday blamed the Centre for the arrest of Kanimozhi, saying it was either due to its "orders or complacency."

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The party has been going through a rough patch of late, with Kanimozhi and Karunanidhi's trusted junior colleague and former telecom minister A Raja lodged in jail for their alleged roles in the 2G spectrum scam allocation.

Karunanidhi's grandnephew and Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran is also under the scanner in the 2G case and his resignation is being demanded by the opposition.

If the DMK decides to withdraw from the government, it could avoid the ignominy of Maran having to quit like Raja.

Besides Maran, other DMK ministers at the Centre are M K Alagiri, S S Palanimanickam, Gandhiselvan, D Napolean and S Jagatrakshakan.

DMK is the third largest constituent of the UPA after the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. It has 18 members in the Lok Sabha.



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The recent developments have upset Karunanidhi a lot. He had during his last visit to New Delhi skipped a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson. Karunanidhi's visit to Delhi was to meet Kanimozhi in Tihar jail.

The talk in Congress is that Karunanidhi could pull out his ministers from the Centre in an apparent move to show displeasure with Congress but would continue to extend support to the government from outside.

Congress leaders admit that if such a development occurs then the Central coalition would be a "bit less stable" as the DMK has been a reliable ally for the past seven years.



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Incidently, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is expected to visit New Delhi next week.

Gandhi had telephoned Jayalalithaa after the assembly poll verdict in May to congratulate her, triggering speculation that the Congress could dump DMK and go with Jayalalthaa, who has nine members in the Lok Sabha.

Interestingly, DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu had a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, but what transpired in that meeting is not known.

Congress kept its fingers crossed over the likely outcome at the DMK's meeting on Friday.

"We will react when we know what is the outcome of the DMK meeting," was the response of AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.



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