The tension between the DMK and the ruling UPA over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue seemed to be cooling off on Monday evening.
Union ministers P Chidambaram, AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad calling on DMK chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai. UNI photo
Although talks between the two UPA partners ended inconclusively, DMK chief M Karunanidhi seemed to have come up with a compromise formula to save the alliance without risking his pro-Tamil image.
He suggested that his demands be adopted by Indian Parliament — a move seen as a climbdown. “I have urged them to bring about this resolution in Parliament and they have agreed,” Karunanidhi said.
But he has neither publicly gone soft on his previous demands, nor has he withdrawn his pullout threat.
The DMK chief had asked for two amendments to the US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC meeting — global probe into the genocide of Tamils and action against the Lankan authorities for war crimes.
But Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told mediapersons: “We would report back (whatever was discussed) to the PM and the Congress president.”
Azad, finance minister P Chidambaram and defence minister AK Antony were deputed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to meet Karunanidhi after he had reiterated his threat to pull out of the council of ministers and finally snap ties with the UPA.
In 2009, thousands of civilian Tamils were killed during the Lankan government forces' final push against the LTTE and the plight of Tamils in the island nation ever since has united every political outfit in Tamil Nadu.
Now that all the parties in the state are competing with each other to cash in on the emotive issue, the DMK took the lead by threatening to pull out of the central government if India did not take a firm stand against Sri Lanka at the United Nations forum.
Karunanidhi's arch rival, AIADMK boss and chief minister Jayalalithaa, also urged the Prime Minister to take a "courageous stand" and move an independent censure motion against Sri Lanka, besides setting up a credible, independent inquiry against the Island nation for war crimes and genocide.
On the ground, the protests against Sri Lanka went viral. On Monday, a youth tried to commit self-immolation in the temple town of Maduari.
Students from IIT and Madras University also joined the stir, in which Anna university students had taken the lead so far.
Meanwhile, the central government has asked Dilip Sinha, India's permanent representative to the UN mission in Geneva, to be in Delhi soon to meet senior officials, including the national security adviser and the foreign secretary on the proposed US resolution.