It's split wide open, DMK packs off PMK

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Chennai, Jun 17 (UNI) The two-year-long troubled honeymoon between the two partners of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu is finally over.

After the talk of a break up at a marriage function five days back, the divorce was formalised today with the DMK, at its high- level meeting, showing the door to its hen-pecking ally, the PMK, from the DPA.

It has been a troubled relationship between the two parties which had been indulging in repeated sparring over a host of issues and various developmental projects launched by the DMK Government since it assumed office in May 2006.

Despite going hammer and tongs against the DMK Government, the PMK had all along maintained it would not go back on its promise of providing ''unconditional'' support to it for five years.

But the last straw between the two parties was the violent and disparaging remarks made by PMK functionary ''Kaduvetti'' Guru at a party meeting in January.

Though PMK Founder-Leader S Ramadoss claimed the issue was solved in March itself, with DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi expressing satisfaction over his reply, he alleged the DMK was raking up an ''old and dead'' issue to find some reason to oust it from the DPA.

The DMK, which had won 95 seats in 2006 polls for the 234-member State Assembly, fell short of majority by 22 seats and had been functioning with the outside support of Congress, PMK, VCK and the Left Parties.

The severing of ties with the PMK, which has 18 MLAs, would in no way affect the stability of the ruling DMK, which enjoys the support of 35 Congress MLAs and 15 MLAs from the Left parties.

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