Thursday, 21 March 2013

Karunanidhi seeks to clear air over decision to pull out

Seeking to clear the air over its decision to pull out of UPA, DMK today said it took the step only after it became evident that there was no way the amendments suggested by it could be incorporated in the US resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. Responding to Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's remarks questioning the party's change of mind even while its demands were being considered, DMK President M Karunanidhi also said there was no public announcement that the party's demands were being looked into it. "These are the reasons for DMK's announcement (of withdrawal of support to UPA) on March 19 and nothing else," he said in a statement here. Speaking in Delhi today, Chidambaram said DMK was aware of government's position on the issue but had changed its stand overnight. "We are not aware of the reasons why DMK changed its position between the night of March 18 and the morning of March 19," Chidambaram said. Recalling the meeting the three emissaries of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with him on Monday, Karunanidhi said Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had told reporters that they will report back to Singh about the meeting but had made no mention of Parliament adopting a resolution incorporating the amendments or moving them in UNHRC. The DMK patriarch said the next morning, information was recieved about the contents of the US resolution which he said had been revised four times. "There were no strong words against Lankan government and that the motion had been watered down. We came to know there was absolutely no chance of including the amendments suggested by us," he added. On Chidambaram's contention that amendments were possible, he said he was not sure whether there was still time for it. "We don't know if there is time still. Looks like the time for written amendments has elapsed", he added. Earlier, Karunanidhi blamed India's 'wholehearted acceptance and appreciation" of a report tabled by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC for the 'watering down' of the US resolution. "The watering down has been done on the basis of India whole-heartedly accepting and appreciating a report tabled by the Lankan government at UNHRC," he said, adding rights body Amnesty International had also accused India of diluting the resolution. Further, DMK's suggested amendments were not considered fully and therefore at this juncture, the party announced its stand of pulling out of UPA, he said.


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