On the second day of the budget session on Tuesday, the UPA government faced tremendous pounding by its eastern and southern allies — Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and M Karunanidhi’s DMK — mainly on two issues.
Breaking the parliamentary convention — allies normally do not move amendments to an official motion in Parliament —the TMC moved an amendment to the President’s address on the NCTC, while the DMK wanted the government to oppose Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes in the 2009 war against the LTTE.
Meanwhile, before the Prime Minister's dinner on Tuesday, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee warned the allies against moving amendments to the President’s speech, reminding them that acceptance of amendments may lead to the government's fall.
Kalyan Banerjee of the TMC, the second largest ally in the UPA, while moving the amendment, told the Lok Sabha that the Centre was trying to encroach upon the rights of the states, which his party had resisted during the tabling of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, too.
The DMK members, on the other hand, protested against the Lankan war crimes during President Pratibha Patil’s address to a joint session of Parliament. The DMK’s rival, the AIADMK, also forced the Rajya Sabha to adjourn for the day and disrupted proceedings of the Lok Sabha.
The southern parties demanded that India speak out against the alleged war crimes against the Sri Lankan Tamils before the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council and support a US-sponsored resolution on condemning Colombo's record in the 2009 war.
The DMK's posture, however, alarmed the government, as there are indications that Karunanidhi’s party, already upset by the 2G spectrum scam probe, would flex its muscles on the Sri Lanka issue.