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Karuna moots pullout but head rules heart

May 20: Faced with the most wrenching personal crisis of his life, M. Karunanidhi today considered dumping the UPA but was dissuaded by other DMK leaders from taking an emotional decision that could hurt the party.

DMK sources said they did not expect Karunanidhi to do “anything precipitate”, adding that with seasoned politicians, the head always prevails over the heart.

“I cannot decide anything on my own. The party executive will decide. The DMK-Congress ties remain strong,” a heart-broken Karunanidhi told reporters after three hours of discussions.

Asked how he was feeling, he said in a choked voice: “If you have a daughter who faces arrest for no fault of hers, how sad would you be? I feel the same way.”

Sources said Karunanidhi’s sons Stalin and Alagiri had advised strongly against a pullout, arguing the Congress could not be blamed entirely as the Supreme Court was the deciding authority in the case.

The sons believe that being in the UPA government is the only protection the party has after losing power in Tamil Nadu. They don’t want an emotional decision to make the DMK even more vulnerable at a time Jayalalithaa is expected to hit it with more corruption cases at the state level.

Stalin also told his father that exiting the UPA would only provide the AIADMK with the chance to step in and fill the gap.

Party leaders explained why an emotional reaction was unlikely. “Corruption is the biggest reason why we were wiped out in the Assembly polls. Withdrawal of support would bolster people’s worst beliefs about us,” an MP said.

The people believe that the 2G case is reaching a conclusion thanks to the apex court, “whose credibility is far higher than that of politicians”, a source added.

Earlier too, whenever any talk of pullout surfaced in the party over the 2G case, Karunanidhi’s sons had argued that if the DMK was ready to be seen publicly as compromising on corruption, it might as well shut shop and let the AIADMK rule Tamil Nadu for ever. They would remind Karunanidhi that whenever he had unseated Jayalalithaa, the plank had been corruption.

Besides, the mood in the DMK is that it’s for Karunanidhi and not the party to fight Kanimozhi’s battle. “The family has cost us the election. The general feeling among the cadres is that Kanimozhi is guilty,” a party official said.

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