DMK ministers submit resignation

Lanka crisis: Congress insists government is stable and will complete its term

With the resignation of its five Union ministers on Wednesday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has completely annulled its marriage with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The DMK ministers submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at round noon at his office in Parliament complex.

M K Alagiri, son of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, however, fuelled speculations about him having some reservations with the party’s decision as he along with D Napoleon came to the Prime Minister’s office to tender resignation about an hour after S S Palanimanickam, S Gandhiselvan and S Jagatrakshakan visited Singh.

Alagiri was understood to be upset for not being consulted when his father took a decision to pull out of the UPA.

Of the five DMK ministers, only Alagiri was of Cabinet rank holding the charge of fertilizer ministry.

Palanimanickam, Jagatrakshakan, Gandhiselvan and Napoleon were ministers of state.
“As per the decision taken by Kalaignar Karunanidhi, we have handed over the resignation letters to the Prime Minister,” DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu said.

Asked if his party will join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Baalu categorically said “No. Never”.

Thirumaavalavan Thol, the lone MP of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) which is an ally of the DMK, also met President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over a letter informing his party’s decision to withdraw support to the government.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram wondered why DMK changed its position between the night of March 18 and the morning of March 19 while the government, after a meeting with Karunanidhi, had begun the process of formulating amendments to the draft resolution against Sri Lanka and also a separate resolution to bring it in Parliament. The DMK supremo had said his party would reconsider its decision to pull out if Parliament adopts a resolution before the end of current sittings on March 22.  “We are not aware why DMK change its position,” he told reporters.

Chidambaram said the government would still bring a resolution on Sri Lanka issue in Parliament and would seek support of other parties for its passages so that sentiments of Tamils are reflected, despite as the DMK decision.

“Every political party represents people. There are Tamils in the state of Tamil Nadu as also outside. There is also Tamil diaspora. Congress, from the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, has always stood for the rights of Tamils. It (resolution in Parliament) has nothing to do with the DMK,” he added.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government is “absolutely stable” and it will complete its term.

“The government is neither lame nor is it a duck. We are absolutely stable,” he said adding that no political party had challenged the stability of the government so far.

“We are in the ninth year of government. I think there s some talent in government to run the alliance,” Chidambaram added. When asked if Congress had consulted the BSP and the SP, Nath said, “In any alliance you do have to consult your allies and supporters,”

Outgoing ministers

M K Alagiri
Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers

S Gandhiselvan
Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare

S S Palanimanickam
Minister of State, Finance

D Napolean
MoS, Social Justice and Empowerment

S Jagatrakshakan
Minister of State, Commerce and Industry

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