AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa on Thursday offered to back the Congress-led government if its sacking of tainted Communications and IT Minister A. Raja led his party DMK to take back its support.
Jayalalithaa made the offer in an interview to TimesNow television channel, saying she had no conditions behind propping Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government beyond restoring probity in public life.
The former Tamil Nadu chief minister said the AIADMK had nine members in the Lok Sabha and with the help "like-minded parties" could offer the en bloc support of 18 MPs -- to make up for the DMK's 18 if the latter took back its legislative backing to Manmohan Singh.
She said she was making the unilateral gesture on the presumption that the prime minister was not sacking Raja despite mounting demands for his ouster over the spectrum scam fearing this could rob him of the majority support in the Lok Sabha and perhaps leading to early elections.
"The reason is very simple. It is coalition politics. To put it plainly and bluntly, it is obvious the Congress feels that any precipitate action against Raja will result in the DMK withdrawing its support to the union coalition government, and the Congress obviously fears that its fragile coalition will collapse and this will lead to mid-term polls," she said.
Jayalalithaa warned that any further delay in moving against Raja -- who has refused to quit and who enjoys the solid backing of the DMK -- would further dent the image of the Congress.
She declined to reveal who are the other MPs -- apart from the AIADMK's nine in the Lok Sabha -- who will rally with her to the aid of the Manmohan Singh government if it lost majority support in the Lok Sabha.
"There are no conditions from my side," she said.