DMK likely to pull out ministers from Centre

CHENNAI: An informal meeting of top DMK leaders at party chief M Karunanidhi’s residence here on Sunday decided, in principle, to pull out ministers from the UPA government if the Centre did not accede to their demand that it support the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes before the UN Human Rights Council.

While most DMK leaders wanted the party to withdraw its ministers from the Manmohan Singh ministry on Tuesday and support the government from outside, Union minister M K Alagiri and some others felt that any such strong decision should be taken only after March 23 when the US resolution is put to vote.

The DMK leadership began their informal deliberations on Saturday at the party headquarters in the run-up to the crucial high level committee meeting on Tuesday. Karunanidhi, general secretary K Anbalagan, son M K Stalin and former minister Duraimurugan are understood to favour hard line.

Karunanidhi has been discussing the UN resolution with senior leaders. He has already prepared a draft resolution for DMK high level committee meeting on March 20, said a source. “If the Congress is not accepting DMK’s demand then we would pull out our ministers from the Centre. Our resolution may reflect it. But we will give our support for the government from outside,” said a senior member of the committee.

The DMK had earlier hinted at withdrawing its ministers from the Union government during the seat negotiations with the Congress in the run-up to the Tamil Nadu assembly elections last year when some of its leaders were facing charges in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

DMK parliamentary leader TR Baalu and some party MP’s are likely to raise the issue in Parliament on Monday. When contacted, Baalu told TOI, “DMK is very firm on its stand to insist that the government of India support the US resolution at the UNHRC hearings.” He added, “India should support the present form of resolution and it should not be diluted.” The government should not abstain from the voting either, he said.

DMK Rajya Sabha MP and Karunanidhi’s daughter M K Kanimozhi said, “We are very concerned about UN resolution. I hope the DMK will not be forced to take any strong decision at the high level meeting. We are hopeful that the Centre understands what we mean and hope the government also understands what the people of Tamil Nadu mean,” she said responding to a question whether the DMK will pull out of the UPA government if India does not support the resolution in the UN.

The AIADMK is also adamant on the demand that the Centre support the US resolution. The party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, V Maitreyan told TOI, “Madam (Jayalalithaa) has been very firm in this issue. Tamil Nadu state assembly passed a special resolution six months ago demanding that the Centre take action to get all those responsible for large-scale civilian deaths, during the Sri Lankan civil war, declared as ‘war criminals’ by the United Nations. We won’t accept if India abstains from voting. If they take that decision then it means they are backing Sri Lanka.” He said AIADMK MPs will stick to their demand.


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