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5 DMK ministers resign after party withdraws support to UPA

First published: March 20, 2013, 6:13 PM IST | Updated: March 20, 2013
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5 DMK ministers resign after party withdraws support to UPA
DMK chief Karunanidhi's son Alagiri submitted his resignation separately fuelling speculation that he had reservations about how the decision was taken by the party.

New Delhi: Five Union ministers of the DMK, including party patriarch M Karunanidhi's son, MK Alagiri, submitted their resignations to the PM on Wednesday. The resignations by the ministers comes a day after the DMK withdrew support from the UPA government over its alleged "unwillingness" to push for a stronger resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN.

While SS Palanimackam, S Gandhiselvan, S Jagatrakshakan submitted their resignations to the PM first, MK Alagiri and D Napolean submitted their resignations separately, fuelling speculation that Alagiri had reservations about how the decision was taken by the party.

The DMK, which formally ended its nine-year-old alliance with the UPA on Tuesday, has 18 members in the Lok Sabha and six MPs in the Rajya Sabha. The party ruled out supporting UPA from outside or joining the BJP-led NDA. Alagiri was holding the chemicals and fertilisers portfolio with Cabinet rank. Napoleon, Palani Manickam, Jagatrakshakan and Gandhi Selvan were ministers of state.

"As per the decision taken by Kalaignar Karunanidhi, we have handed over the resignation letter to the Prime Minister," DMK Parliamentary Party leader TR Baalu told reporters. Asked whether the party will join BJP-led NDA, Baalu, who accompanied three ministers to meet Prime Minister, said, "No...never."

Meanwhile, DMK ally VCK's leader and Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday afternoon and handed over the letter withdrawing support of UPA Government. "Our government is not supporting the cause of our eelam Tamil (Sri Lankan Tamil). So, I took this decision," he told reporters.

Baalu had met the President on Tuesday night to hand over letter of withdrawal of support to UPA.

The DMK's pullout has made the SP's and the BSP's support for the UPA government all the more crucial. SP MPs are on the other hand demanding Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma's resignation for his comment accusing party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav of having links with terrorists. Congress President Sonia Gandhi met Mulayam on Wednesday in an apparent bid to mollify him. Sources say she told Mulayam that Beni Prasad's views were not that of the Congress's.