Thursday, March 21, 2013

Congress claims innocence over DMK decision

New Delhi: Finance minister P.Chidambaram tried to show that the Congress was surprised by the DMK act of desertion. He said that he was surprised by DMK chief M.Karunanidhi announcing on Tuesday morning about withdrawal of support to UPA after he and his Congress colleagues, defence minister A.K.Antony and health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, had visited Karunanidhi in Chennai and had talks with the DMK patriarch and his colleagues. Apparently the Congress team returned to Delhi to work on the demands by the DMK and Karunanidhi. Chidambaram was again surprised when the DMK's parliamentary leaders met president Pranab Mukherjee late on Tuesday night and handed over the letter about withdrawal of support. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday morning, Chidambaram, expressed bewilderment at the steps taken by the DMK. “We are not aware of the reasons why the DMK changed its position between the night of 18.3.2013 and the morning of 19.3.2013.We are not aware of the reasons why the DMK changed its position between the morning of 19.3.2013 and the night of 19.3.2013,” he said. Congress is refraining from turning bitter or aggressive over DMK's departure. But the salvage operations have begun. The party is now trying to make the Sri Lankan Tamils issue its own. Chidambaram quoted from Congress president Sonia Gandhi's speech to the parliamentary party on Tuesday where she stated, “The plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka is very close to our hearts. Our support for their equal rights and equal protection of the laws to them has been unwavering since the days of Indiraji and Rajivji...We are anguished by reports of unspeakable atrocities on innocent civilians and children, especially during the last days of the conflict of 2009. That is why we demand an independent and credible inquiry into the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka.” Minister for parliamentary affairs Kamal Nath said that the government was keen on a parliamentary resolution and it was not because of DMK. Responding to a question as to why the government was bothered about the resolution now that the DMK has left and there was no scope for rapprochement, the minister said the government was concerned with the resolution despite the DMK. He had however said that the government was looking for consensus on the issue of resolution, whether there should be a resolution in the first place, and what is the language to be included in it. He kept the resolution issue open and vague and conditional. He admitted that the BJP did not favour a country-specific resolution, that ally NCP's chief Sharad Pawar had reservations but he was willing to go along with the government.

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