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Congress on ‘wait, watch’ mode, DMK firm on pull out
Published on 7 Mar. 2011 1:05 AM IST
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The ruling UPA continued on shaky grounds Sunday as ally DMK remained adamant on walking out of the Manmohan Singh government over seat-sharing for the Tamil Nadu polls while the Congress adopted a wait and watch attitude.
The DMK said its six ministers would submit their resignation Monday to the prime minister. The alliance came apart after the Congress asked for 63 of the 234 seats for the April 13 assembly polls, while the state’s ruling DMK was willing to concede only 60. “The ministers will be submitting their resignation letters tomorrow (Monday),” DMK leader T.R. Baalu told reporters in Chennai.
If the DMK ministers -- two cabinet and four ministers of state -- formally withdraw, the Congress-led UPA government will be reduced to minority in the 543-member Lok Sabha, though it has outside support of some parties. But the DMK has said it will give “issue-based support” to the UPA government. The Congress has outside support of Samajwadi Party (22 MPs), Bahujan Samaj Party (21) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (4). All these parties also give issue based support to the UPA.
The DMK’s withdrawal is likely to complicate matters for the UPA as the government’s priority is to get the 2011-12 union budget passed in parliament during the current session. If the government fails to pass the budget vote, it will fall.
Jolted by the DMK’s pull out decision, the Congress on Sunday appeared on a “wait and watch” mode and weighing its options. According to a source in the party, the Congress was waiting for the DMK to reconsider its withdrawal decision before restarting seat-sharing talks. But Baalu in Chennai said that no one from Congress had contacted the DMK after it announced its decision. Congress leaders refused to speak on record about the issue. “I have nothing to say,” party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told IANS.
But the party sources said the leadership was discussing the crisis and keeping a watch on the evolving situation as they expected “some statement from DMK leaders in Chennai”.
The Congress’ Tamil Nadu in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad could not be contacted but sources told IANS that he unlikely to fly to Chennai “any time soon” to try and resolve the crisis.

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