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Monday, March 18, 2013

Live: UPA is stable despite DMK pullout, says Chidambaram

11.48 am: Have taken note of DMK decision but govt is stable, says Chidambaram
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the UPA has “taken note” of the DMK decision to leave the alliance, but said that the government was still stable and enjoyed a majority in the Lok Sabha. “Let me assure everyone that the government is absolutely stable and enjoys a majority in the Lok Sabha”, he said in a brief press meet in Delhi, minutes after DMK Chief Karunanidhi announced that he would withdraw support.
“The DMK leader has said he will review ohis decision if we pass a resolution in the house. We have taken note of that also. However at this point, the government is stable, the government will continue, and the government has a majority in the house”, he added.

Chidambaram also said that his meeting with the DMK chief on Monday evening had come away with certain requests for the Prime Minister and Congress President from Karunanidhi and that those requests are under consideration.
He said that the government was in the process of of examining the final draft of the US resolution that had come to the government last night and would take a decision on how to vote after that examination was over. “As for the resolution condemning genocide in Sri Lanka in Parliament, we have begun consulting all parties”, he added.
11.40 am: Markets down by 300 points after DMK decision to pull out of UPA
Indian markets plunged into red immediately after the DMK decided to pull out of the UPA government since it implies an unstable government without the support of DMK.
While the Sensex plunged 312 points, the Nifty was down 97 points at 5790.
Bajaj Auto, Gail India, Sun Pharma, Wipro, ITC are among the gainers in Sensex and Nifty.
ONGC, SBI, BHEL,Coal India, Dr Reddys Lab, TCS, L&T, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC Bank, ONGC, Tata Power are among the top losers.
The DMK has 18 seats in the Lok Sabha and is the second ally to pull out after Mamata Banerjee‘s TMC.
The decision is however sparking massive celebrations among DMK cadres who are bursting crackers and celebrating outside Karunanidhi’s Chennai residence.
11.36 am: Subramanian Swamy dismisses DMK move as ‘drama’
Janta Party leader Subramanian Swamy has dismissed the DMK’s shock decision to pull out of the UPA alliance as mere ‘posturing’ and said he was not surprised by the move at all. “After one month or one week they will come back. I think Karunanidhi is scared of Jayalalithaa and he is scared of being left behind”, he told CNN-IBN.
Swamy added that in his opinion the resolution was a good one and India needed to support it.
11.24 am: What does the DMK pullout mean for the UPA?
With the pullout of the 18 DMK MPs in the Lok Sabha, the strength of the UPA government declines from 295 to 277 in the upper house of Parliament. The DMK has also ruled out any question of outside support but said it may consider changing its stand based on the government’s stand.
The UPA though has letters of outside support from the Samajwadi Party as well as the Bahujan Samaj Party which have 22 and 21 MPs respectively.
Here are the numbers as they stand right now:
Total strength of House — 540
Halfway mark — 270
UPA with DMK — 295
Without DMK — 277 (With outside support from SP and BSP)
The DMK pullout officially means that the UPA is now a minority government.
11.12 am: DMK pulls out of UPA government, no outside support
DMK Chief Karunanidhi has just announced that the DMK will pull out of the UPA government over their stance on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. The  party will not offer outside support, and Karunanidhi has already set a list of demands on the already beleaguered UPA government that include passing a Parliamentary resolution on the genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils and having India intervene to make the US resolution against Sri Lanka more tightly worded.
“If the parliament passes a resolution ahead of the vote, we might change our stance”, he said addressing a media conference in Chennai.
“DMK continuing to support the Central government under these circumstances is impossible. Even if the LTTE is vanquished our support for the fight of Tamil freedom and human rights is not over”, he added.
The DMK has 18 members in the Lok Sabha and five members in the council of Ministers.
11.03 am: DMK to hold press meet, will they pull out of the UPA?
The DMK is about to hold a press meet in Chennai with DMK supremo Karunanidhi set to address the media. There is speculation that he will pull out of the UPA government. DMK MPs in Delhi have been tight lipped, saying that UPA actions in Parliament would decide their future course of action.
10.35 am: PM convenes emergency meeting to discuss DMK crisis
Reports just coming in state that the Prime Minister is having an emergency meet to discuss the DMK crisis that has sprung up over human rights issues in Sri Lanka. Manmohan Singh will meet Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK Antony who will brief him on the results of a meeting they held with DMK supremo Karunanidhi in Chennai yesterday.
DMK Supremo Karunanidhi has refused to back down from his hardline stance against Sri Lanka, and has said that he wants a resolution condemning the ‘genocide’ of Tamil people in the final stages of the war adopted in Parliament.
The DMK has also called for an emergency meeting in Parliament, demanding the passage of a stronger UN resolution in Sri Lanka.
“India should intervene and see that the resolution is strengthened. We have come to understand that the resolution has been diluted and so is now irrelevant. We want the government of India to intervene and see that Tamils are protected in the island. It is the duty of India”, said a DMK spokesman outside Parliament.
Latest media reports indicate that the US has turned up a significantly watered down second draft of the UN resolution against Sri Lanka. The Times Now channel reported that the new resolution asks for an independent investigation instead of an international inquiry into alleged war crimes and continuing human rights abuses.
10.00 am: DMK gives notice for suspension of question hour in Lok Sabha
The DMK has given notice for the suspension of question hour as they want the issue of Sri Lankan war crimes discussed in the Lok Sabha. The notice comes even as DMK Supremo Karunanidhi refused to back down from his hardline stance against Sri Lanka, saying that he wanted a resolution condemning the ‘genocide’ of Sri Lankan Tamils adopted in Parliament.
The comments came after a crucial meeting between the DMK chief and three union ministers on the stand to be taken by India over the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka ended with no major decision being taken. Meanwhile Congress President Sonia Gandhi made a statement saying that the Congress was ‘for the upholding of human rights in Sri Lanka’ which is being seen as a message to the DMK that the Congress will stand by them and vote for the resolution.
Karunanidhi said India should strongly urge the establishment of a credible and independent international commission of investigation into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law and genocide against the Tamil people.
The DMK has five members in the prime minister’s council of ministers and 18 members in the Lok Sabha.


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