Surprised Congress gives guarded response to DMK`s move

The DMK`s decision to pull out of the UPA government appears to have come as a bolt from the blue for the Congress, which still feels all is not lost and negotiations could continue.

Last Updated: Mar 05, 2011, 20:59 PM IST

New Delhi: The DMK`s decision to pull
out of the UPA government appears to have come as a bolt from
the blue for the Congress, which still feels all is not lost
and negotiations could continue.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi gave a guarded
reaction on the development, keeping alive the hopes of a
settlement on seat sharing even at this stage.

"There is no need to comment on it now. This (has
happened) in the middle of negotiations and unnecessary press
comments will muddy the waters," was the refrain of Singhvi.

Indicating that the party has been caught off-guard on
the issue, a senior party functionary, who did not wish to be
identified, said, "We are not going to react until the DMK
officially communicates to us the decision."

DMK is the first ally of the Congress led UPA to
pull out of the ruling coalition at the Centre.

With 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha, it is the third largest
constituent of the UPA after Congress and the Trinamool
Congress.

It has been with the UPA since 2004 after Congress and
DMK buried the hatchet before the Lok Sabha elections.

In an apparent act of brinkmanship, the DMK today
decided to pull out of the Congress-led government at the
Centre after talks between the two parties on seat-sharing for
the Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections failed.

DMK president M Karunanidhi, who had last night
accused the Congress of being unreasonable in its demand,
charged the ally of trying to push it out of the UPA.

The meeting of the party`s high-powered committee
presided over by him adopted a resolution to pull out of the
government and to give issue-based support.

Apparently referring to the Congress` demand of 63
seats of its choice after agreeing to 60, he said the Congress
stand does not help for an amicable poll accord.

He made it clear that while pulling out its six
ministers from the Union Cabinet, the party would give
issue-based support to the Manmohan Singh government.

PTI