Addressing a meeting here to protest the steep increase in petrol prices, he lashed out at the Centre and said when his party's principles were trampled upon during earlier alliances, he had not hesitated to walk out of the coalition, whether it be the VP Singh cabinet or the BJP-led NDA.
"We have never hesitated to raise voice of opposition whenever the basic principles were hurt and if we cannot solve it by being an ally, we have not hesitated to come out and uphold those principles," he said.
"The DMK is in the coalition. But (being in) alliance is different. It is our duty to voice concern against policies that will affect the people," he told the meeting which was also called to protest hike in power tariff and prices of milk and bus fares announced by the Jayalalithaa government.
With the veiled threat causing political ripples, the 88-year-old leader later resorted to damage control, saying he had not said his party will walk out but had only recalled it had been forced to walk out following a clash of policies while being an ally of BJP-led NDA or in the VP Singh government in the past.
"It is the time of Presidential polls. So we will not create a crisis for the government. We will remain in the alliance with bitterness," he said.