New Delhi: An upset M Karunanidhi may decide on withdrwal of DMK ministers from the centre in a meeting of party's top brass in Chennai which takes place on Friday.

This is the impression gaining ground in Congress circles here ahead of the emergency meeting of the DMK's high-level Action Committee.

The meeting, the first after DMK's drubbing in the Assembly polls in which it finished a poor third, is being held in the wake of the Delhi High Court denying bail to DMK MP and Karunanidhi's daughter, Kanimozhi, in the 2G spectrum case. She is currently in Tihar jail.

The DMK's direction to all members of the Committee to "participate in the meeting without fail" has fuelled talk in Congress that an important decision is likely to be taken by the Dravidian party tomorrow.

Of late, the 87-year-old DMK patriarch has been critical of the Congress, telling the cadres that soured  relationship gene ends in trouble. On SundayHe had  blamed the Centre for the arrest of Kanimozhi, saying it took place either on centre's "orders or complacency."

The party has been going through a rough patch of late, with Kanimozhi and Karunanidhi's trusted junior colleague and former Telecom Minister A Raja being lodged in jail for their alleged roles in the 2G spectrum scam allocation.

Karunanidhi's grand nephew and Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran is also under the scanner in the 2G case and his resignation is being demanded by the opposition.

If the DMK decides to withdraw from the government, it could avoid the ignominy of Maran having to quit like Raja. Besides Maran, other DMK Ministers at the Centre are M K Alagiri, S S Palanimanickam, Gandhiselvan, D Napolean and S Jagatrakshakan.

DMK is the third largest constituent of the UPA after the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. It has 18 members in Lok Sabha.

The recent developments have upset Karunanidhi a lot who had during his last visit to the national capital skipped meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson. Karunanidhi's visit to Delhi was intended to meet Kanimozhi in Tihar jail there.

. Talks are doing the round in Congress circles that Karunanidhi could pull out his ministers from the Centre in an apparent move to show displeasure with Congress but would continue to extend support to the Government from outside.

Congress leaders admit that if such a development takes palce then the Central coalition would be  " a little bit stable" as the DMK has been a reliable ally for the past seven years.

Incidently,AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is expected to visit New Delhi next week.

Gandhi had telephoned Jayalalithaa after the Assembly poll verdict last month to congratulate her, triggering speculation that Congress could dump DMK and go with Jayalalthaa who has nine members in the Lok Sabha.

Interestingly, DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu had a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, but what transpired was not known.

Congress kept its fingers crossed over the likely outcome at the DMK's meeting on Friday."We will react when we know what is the outcome of the DMK meeting," was the response of the AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.

When enquired on the continuance of Maran in the wake of opposition demands, Natarajan merely said it was the Prime Minister's prerogative to decide on who should be in the ministry.

She said the allegations against Maran have so far remained in public domain. "Let the law take its course".

(Agencies)