Will DMK pull out its ministers at Centre?

An upset M Karunanidhi could decide on Friday on the withdrawal of the DMK Ministers at the Centre.

New Delhi: An upset M Karunanidhi could
decide on Friday on the withdrawal of the DMK Ministers at the
Centre at a meeting of the party`s top brass in Chennai.

This is the impression gaining ground in Congress
circles here 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
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 tomorrow.

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."
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

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

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

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.

Incidently, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister J Jayalalithaa is expected to visit New Delhi next

Gandhi had telephoned Jayalalithaa after the Assembly
poll verdict last month to congratulate her, triggering
speculation that 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 today, but
what transpired was not known.

Congress kept its fingers crossed over the likely
outcome at the DMK`s meeting tomorrow. "We will react when we
know what is the outcome of the DMK meeting," was the response
of the AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.


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