Thursday, 21 March 2013

India DMK party ministers leave government

Five federal ministers from the DMK party, a former ally of India's ruling coalition, have submitted their resignations to PM Manmohan Singh. On Tuesday, the DMK withdrew from the Congress party-led government over its failure to condemn alleged atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils. The party, with 18 MPs, held five ministerial posts in the government. A senior minister belonging to the Congress party said the government was "stable" and would remain in power. "We are not a lame duck government. No political party has come out and challenged its majority," Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath told reporters on Wednesday. Continue reading the main story Indian press reaction Indian newspapers said the government was "safe" despite the withdrawal of support by a major ally. "DMK deserts UPA ship, but won't sink it", said The Hindu. "Although the UPA government is not in imminent danger of collapse, it no longer has the comfort of numbers." Hindustan Times said the government was on "thin ice" and its continuation in power would now be heavily dependent on other regional parties like Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The Times of India said that the "rickety" ruling coalition was looking "increasingly battered" and the next general election could be earlier than expected. The DMK is the main opposition party in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which has a large population of Tamils. DMK chief M Karunanidhi had demanded that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government pass a resolution in parliament condemning alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan forces against Tamils during the island's long civil war. He has also protested against the Indian government's position on a resolution on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka which is before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). He wants India to push for stronger language in the resolution, including the use of the word "genocide". Late on Tuesday, party leaders met President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over a letter withdrawing the support of its MPs for the government.


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