The withdrawal is a huge blow to Prime Minister Mammohan Singh as he battles a series of corruption scandals.—AP photo

NEW DELHI: The DMK party, a key member of India's ruling coalition, said on Saturday it was withdrawing from the Congress-led government, dealing a huge blow to Prime Minister Mammohan Singh as he battles a series of corruption scandals.

The DMK said it would give issue-based support to the government in parliament, where its 18 seats give the Congress-party led coalition a slender majority.

The Congress-led government can still survive by both depending on the DMK for support on key bills and trying to bring in other regional parties into its coalition.

But the withdrawal will make it much harder for the government to pass any reform bills, weaken the prime minister further and bolster the opposition.

The government has been hit be a series of corruption scandals that have already led to the resignation of a DMK minister from the government.

The party said it had withdrawn over a dispute over seats to be contested in an election in the DMK's Tamil Nadu state, although analysts see its withdrawl as linked to a massive telcoms scandal that has implicated the party.

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