Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Karunanidhi conjures up a Tuesday storm

New Delhi: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo M.Karunanidhi created a political storm on Tuesday morning when he announced to the media that his party was pulling out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), but kept the door open as it were when he said in the same breath that if Parliament were to pass a resolution on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils and term the killing of the Tamils in the 2009 civil war as “genocide”, then the party could reconsider its stand. This sent the UPA into a tizzy though finance minister P.Chidambaram spoke to the media allaying apprehensions that the government was reduced to a minority and that it faced the bleak prospect of even falling. But as the morning progressed, the situation was brought back under control. Soon after Question Hour in Lok Sabha, members of the DMK and AIADMK moved into the well of the House, and the DMK members shouted that they wanted a resolution condemning the Sri Lankan government for its war crimes against the Tamils in the island. Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and parliamentary affairs minister Kamanlnath tried to sort out the issue and they succeeded. Kamalnath and Gandhi were seen speaking to DMK leader in Lok Sabha, T.K.S.Elangovan, and soon members of the AIADMK and DMK moved back to their seats. Then AIADMK leader Thambidurai spoke first and said that his leader and Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa had written to prime minister Manmohan Singh on March 18 demanding that the Government of India should clarify its stand and the party demanded for an “independent, credible, international into the genocide against Sri Lankan Tamils.” DMK leader in the House, T.K.S.Elangovan, said, “Tamil Nadu is burning. Students are on the streets.” When BJP's Yashwant Sinha demanded to know whether he was speaking as part of the UPA or from the outside, Elangovan said, “I am speaking on behalf of the DMK.” He said that the US resolution at the UNHRC did not satisfy the Tamilians “on the island and on the mainland.” He said that the assurances that the Sri Lankan government gave to the government of India were not carried out. He said, “We are not bothered by the UNHCR resolution. It is India's moral duty to pressure the Sri Lanka government.” Kamalnath then assured that it is a sensitive issue and that the government was ready to debate it after the time and day are fixed in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC). The DMK seemed to have agreed to the proposal because there was neither protest nor disruption of the Lok Sabha after that.

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