A move by the ADMK to force an amendment in the ruling UPA’s Motion of Thanks on the issue of war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils saw the DMK slip out of the Upper House rather than vote with the government.
Three MPs of 7-member DMK left the House to avoid taking any position on the issue.
The issue was forced by ADMK member V Maitreyan, who demanded voting on the issue to “show who are with Sri Lankan Tamils” after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reply to the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s address. He was backed by CPI’s D Raja.
Union minister and Tamil Nadu Congress leader GK Vasan (Congress), who appeared embarrassed by the situation, asked the ADMK not to press for a vote as it was a “sensitive” issue.
Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Tamil Nadu Congress MPs Gnadesiakan and Natchippan too were present.
Initially, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva too was against the vote, saying the Prime Minister had just assured the House that India was “inclined” to vote in favour of a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN.
As Maitreyan insisted on a division, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla spoke to DMK MP Kanmozhi.
The DMK MPs left the House and the ADMK motion was defeated by 94 to 84 votes.