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DMK – Congress split

New Delhi, March 5 (): The DMK has decided to withdraw its ministers from the Union Cabinet. The party will now only extend issue-based support to the UPA government.

This was decided at the meeting of a high-level committee of the DMK this evening. The meeting had been called to decide on continuing the party’s alliance with the Congress. Party chief M Karunanidhi was present at the meeting.

The two parties held three rounds of discussions on seat-sharing for the April 13 Assembly elections this week, but there was little headway. The Congress made it clear that it wanted to contest many more seats than the 48 it had fought on in the last elections and, if the alliance came to power, wanted to be included in the government.

In a statement in Chennai, Karunanidhi said, “Both parties had agreed that the Congress would get 51 seats. But the DMK offered 60 seats. Is it right to demand 63 seats? Is it fair for the Congress to decide on the constituencies it would contest?”

DMDK founder-president Vijayakanth along with party presidium chairman Panruti Ramachandran and Youth wing secretary Sudheesh called on Jayalalithaa at her Poes Garden residence in Chennai, to cement the pact under which the party had been allotted 41 seats, a joint statement released to the media said.

“We are compelled to suspect that these are all the efforts by Congress to remove us from the UPA. Under these circumstances we have to think whether to continue in the government,” says Karunanidhi.