Chennai: The DMK decided to pull out of the Congress-led Government at the Centre on Saturday, as the talks between the two allies on seat-sharing for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections failed.

DMK President M Karunanidhi, who on Friday night had accused the Congress of being unreasonable in its demand, charged the ally of trying to push it out of the UPA on Saturday.

The meeting of the party's high-powered committee presided over by him adopted a resolution to pull out of the government and to give issue-based support.

Apparently referring to the Congress' demand of 63 seats of its choice after agreeing to 60, he said the Congress stand does not help for an amicable poll accord.

"We are compelled to suspect that these are all efforts by Congress to push us out of the UPA. Under these circumstances we have to think whether to continue in the government. So we have decided to relieve ourselves from the government," Karunanidhi told the meeting.

Earlier in the evening, as the DMK's top leaders, including Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the latter admitted to strains in the DMK-Congress relationship.

Mukherjee, however, claimed the dispute could be resolved. 'We have problems but problems will be solved,' he said in New Delhi.

“In our political relationship, we have some problems sometimes. We have the capacity to create problems and at the same time solve them, and it will be solved,” he said.

In Jammu, Central Health Minister and Congress-in-charge of Tamil Nadu Ghulam Nabi Azad said talks were on with the DMK on seat sharing and hoped 'they don't break ties'.

'I am hopeful we will pull together,' Azad said.

With 18 MPs, the DMK is the second largest ally of Congress in the UPA after Trinamool Congress which has 19 MPs.

The DMK's decision puts the seven-year-old successful alliance between the two parties under severe strain ahead of the April 13 polls when it faces a tough challenge from rival AIADMK which has already tied-up with actor Vijayakant's DMDK and Left parties.

The DMK-Congress alliance swept all the 40 Lok Sabha seats including the lone Puducherry seat in the 2004 elections and won 28 seats in the 2009 general elections. The combination also won the 2006 Assembly elections, though DMK could not get a majority on its own.

BJP watching developments

Meanwhile, BJP on Saturday said it was closely watching the developments in the wake of DMK pulling out of the Congress-led UPA government.

It maintained this was "another blow" to the Manmohan Singh dispensation which has been facing serious charges of corruption.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "The Congress party which is already reeling under incessant and severe charges of corruption seemingly faces another blow with DMK threatening to part ways."

The main opposition has targeted the government in the past several months on corruption issues relating to Commonwealth Games projects, Adarsh Housing Society and the 2-G Spectrum allocation scam.

(JPN/Agencies)

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