Karunanidhi playing arm-twist politics with UPA?

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Manmohan Singh and M Karunanidhi
Chennai/New Delhi, Mar 6: After the shocker emerged late last night on DMK's withdrawal from the ruling UPA government, they seem to be reshuffling their cards especially when poll dates have been announced in certain states.

After seat-sharing talks between the DMK and the UPA failed, the DMK decided to call it quits and decided to walk out. But looks like they haven't shut the door of negotiations completely and have kept it open for some discussions. The fact was revealed when TR Baalu, DMK leader said that they were ready to review their decision if the Congress would come forward.

Baalu has been quoted as saying, “My friends (Congress leaders) come back with the same thing as yesterday (Friday) then it is a very big problem for us. The issue-based support will be there. At the same time we are withdrawing our ministers, that's all. If my friends come back with the same thing then it is a problem."

But Baalu, echoing the sentiments of DMK honchos in Tamil Nadu stated, “Definitely we will have a discussion if they (Congress) reconsider. If Congress agrees for 60 seats we will reconsider our decision (to pull out of Cabinet)."

Congress is however doing all it can before the last-minute surprise turns ugly and will have negative results in the state's poll performance. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress General Secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu will meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Chief M Karunanidhi to sort out the differences and save the alliance.

Though the seat-sharing disputes seem to be the reason in the surface, the larger 2G spectrum and the ouster of A Raja has also led to the relationship going sour. The CBIs investigation of the scam reaching the doors of the DMK-owned Kalaignar TV and Karunanidhi household has also irked the DMK considerably.

While the Opposition is playing wait and watch to make use of the opportunity; the DMK ministers in the Centre, namely, Azhagiri (Chemicals and Fertilizers), S Jagath Rakshakan (MoS Information and Broadcasting), D Napoleon (MoS Social Justice and Empowerment), S Palanimanickam (MoS Finance), S Gandhiselvan (MoS Health) and Dayanidhi Maran (Textiles) is most likely to meet PM Manmohan Singh on Monday to submit their resignations. Will this be the final blow to down the already limping UPA government?

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