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DMK puts off plan to pull out of UPA

January 27, 2009 09:04 IST

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The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has put off plans to pull out of the United Progressive Alliance.

TheĀ development came after party supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was admitted to a hospital in the wee hours on Monday following back-ache. Karunanidhi has been advised to take complete rest for a week and all his engagements during this period have been postponed, according to an official press release.

A few weeks ago, Karunanidhi had raised the issue of the central government's inability to intervene in the Sri Lankan Army's operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and threatened to withdraw from the UPA. On that occasion, a visit by Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] to Chennai had defused the crisis.

This came even as the war in northern Sri Lanka [Images] against the LTTE [Images] inched inexorably towards the closing stages.

Although the DMK's stunning victory in the recent Thirumangalam bye-election showed that the party had not lost ground despite the anti-incumbency factor, Karunanidhi was quoted as having said earlier this week that the party would lose the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections unless it did something for the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

The victory proved that while the largely rural populace -- though a municipality, the constituency is dominated by small closed communities of villages -- forgave the government for power cuts of between 10 and 14 hours, it rewarded the DMK for the Re 1 per kg rice scheme launched by its government.

At the same time, it is clear that this election could be a flash in the pan and unless the DMK renegotiates alliances, it could be in the danger of losing several of the 40 seats Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu-Puducherry.

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