The DMK is unable to decide the future course of its ties with the Congress as long as party MP Kanimozhi remains in jail, party leaders say.
But DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who is distressed at his daughter extended stay at Delhi's Tihar Jail, may have to take a call before Tamil Nadu goes to civic polls in October. The DMK and the Congress contested as allies the last civic polls held in 2006.
The big question is whether the two parties will stay together this time as well or will Jayalalithaa woo the Congress away.
Karunanidhi, who is disturbed at the plight of Kanimozhi, has been advised against any "preciptiative action" by his sons MK Alagiri and MK Stalin.
Karunanidhi, however, decided to hold his party's general council, which is the highest policy-level decision taking body of the party, in Coimbatore on July 23, to resuscitate the DMK, which was badly mauled in the assembly polls.
Adding to tension within the DMK is the fear that textiles minister Dayanaidhi Maran may face the axe due to his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam.
DMK leaders fear his exit may happen when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reshuffles his team, though Maran won't resign unless the CBI formally books him.
But, DMK insiders say, Maran's exit will not trigger or force Karunanidhi to snap ties with the Congress.
The DMK chief will be forced to act against the Congress-led government only if the CBI names Kanimozhi's mother Rajathi Ammal or his second wife, Dayalu Ammal in the 2G case.
On June 3, on his 88th birthday, Karunanidhi had said "bad friendship ends up in trouble".
Two days later, he openly blamed the Centre for the travails of his imprisoned daughter.
"Kanimozhi is in Tihar, either it could be because of the Centre's order or complacency," he told his supporters.
"Her only mistake was to become a shareholder in Kalaignar TV much against her wishes. In fact, it was I who insisted upon it since I felt she would require a hold in the future," he said.