According to the Times of India, Ms Gandhi, on Mar 7 said it loud and clear to DMK leaders that she didn't care if the government at the centre stays or collapses. She also made them know of her displeasure over the manner in which the DMk was engaging itself in brinkmanship.
The newspaper quotes her as saying to the DMk's interlocutors, "It is not a question of seats. It is not a question of my prestige. The prestige of the Indian National Congress has been hurt."
According to analysts, it is the DMK that is in dire need of Congress' alliance to fair well in the assembly polls than the other way round. With Vijaykanth joining forces with Jayalalitha and the allegations of 2G Spectrum scandal against many DMK leaders, the vote-bank of DMK could be adversely affected.
The DMK had earlier tried to pressurise the government by asking its members in the union cabinet to resign. But with the Samajwadi having four more MPs than the DMK and willing to support the government, there was no real danger for the Manmohan Singh government. From then onwards it was only DMK who could lose from the bargain and it eventually did, thanks to some tough talking from the congress high-command.
With the pre-poll pact sealed, it now remains to be seen as to how the parties fare in the assembly polls of Tamil Nadu.