Toughening its stand, the DMK on Saturday warned the UPA Government that it would not remain a mute spectator if the Centre continued to toe a soft line on the Sri Lanka issue. In a statement, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said it was “worrisome” that the UPA government and the Congress were speaking in different voices.
He was reacting to the statements by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union ministers Salman Khurshid and Ghulam Nabi Azad on India’s stand on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC. “The situation is reaching a flashpoint. We cannot watch silently,” Karunanidhi said.
The conference of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (Teso) held in New Delhi on Thursday had seen the participation of Congress leaders like Azad, Tamil Nadu unit president B S Gnanadesikan and senior MPs Sudarsana Nachiappan and N S V Chitthan.
While speaking in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, external affairs minister Khurshid refused to spell out India’s stand on the US resolution, leading to a walkout by DMK members and subsequently by MPs belonging to the BJP and others. Azad, who attended the Teso conference that evening, however, endorsed the resolution. The following day, the Prime Minister, while replying to the debate on motion of thanks to the President’s address, appeared to be wavering on the UNHRC vote, but stressed the need for Colombo to hold talks with Tamils to find a solution to the ethnic crisis.
Denying any setback for Teso, Karunanidhi said the organisation will not go back on its stand and was firm about observing the March 12 bandh to exert pressure on the Union government. In an indication that the party was not averse to posturing on the issue, a senior leader said the leadership would be forced to take a decision if the Centre failed to extend wholehearted support on the issue.