Chennai, March 17: The DMK today moved a step closer to pulling out of the UPA with M. Karunanidhi saying his party would leave not just the central government but also the UPA if India failed to incorporate suitable amendments to the draft resolution to be placed before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“I had earlier stated that our continuation in the government would be meaningless if the amendments are not incorporated. Now I say, we will certainly not remain in the alliance,” DMK president Karunanidhi told reporters while releasing a copy of the letter sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
He said no one from the Centre had contacted him after he had threatened to pull out of the government on Friday.
India has till Monday to move any amendments to the resolution moved by the US. Indications are India will vote against Lanka, but sources said the government could not give a commitment before it has seen the resolution.
Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, who was in the state for the weekend, had responded to the DMK threat by saying: “I’m confident that if phrases in the UN resolution sought credible independent international probe, India would support it.” But he returned to Delhi without seeking a meeting with the DMK veteran.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi today refused to comment in public on the internal matters of the UPA
The DMK has one cabinet minister (Karunanidhi’s son M.K. Alagiri) and four ministers of state in the UPA. The party has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha along with one MP of the VCK who had contested on the DMK symbol.
Karunanidhi, in his letter, said he wanted amendments to be moved by India to declare that genocide and war crimes had been committed against Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan army and administrators. He also sought “the establishment of a suitable and independent international commission of investigation in a time-bound manner into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, violence of international humanitarian law and the crime of genocide against Tamil people”.
The DMK feels that in the light of the anti-Lanka and anti-Centre mood prevailing in the state, continuing with the Congress could prove to be a big liability ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Having revived the Lanka card with his Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, Karunanidhi has been mounting pressure on the Congress. The student protests in the state have given Karunanidhi the right window to pull out of the UPA. Had he pulled out just ahead of the elections, it would have looked blatantly opportunistic but with more than a year to go for the polls, he can now argue that the DMK sacrificed power in Delhi to protect the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils.
“In the past we were concerned about the stability of the UPA government but not anymore. True they have the numbers thanks to the SP and the BSP, but our continuance would become untenable if India continued to treat the Rajapakse government with kid gloves when we have raised the pitch during the last few months. The public mood is also decidedly anti-Congress so it makes greater political sense to leave the UPA now,” said a DMK MP.