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Court sends DMK to work

Karunanidhi ended his fast and went back to work as soon as word came of the SC saying President’s Rule should be imposed on Tamil Nadu, report Bhadra Sinha and GC Shekhar.
Hindustan Times | By Bhadra Sinha and GC Shekhar, New Delhi/chennai
UPDATED ON OCT 02, 2007 02:06 AM IST

This dawn-to-dusk hungerstrike didn’t even make it to noon. Chief Minister M Karunanidhi ended his fast and went back to work as soon as word came of the Supreme Court saying President’s Rule should be imposed on Tamil Nadu.

Gradually life limped back to normal in the state, if only to show to the apex court that its orders — banning the DMK-led bandh on Monday — was being upheld and implemented in letter and spirit.

“There is no violation of the order since we only observed a fast against which there was no ruling,” a visibly tense Karunanidhi told reporters.

The day began badly for the state with widespread disruptions — public transport was almost invisible, people gave up trying to get to work, about 37 flights were cancelled.

Then came the Supreme Court’s observations. Justices BN Aggarwal and PS Sathasivam said non-compliance of court orders amounted to a breakdown of the constitutional machinery. “We will not hesitate to direct the Centre to impose President’s Rule in the State… If this is their conduct, the central government should not feel shy in dismissing the state government,” it said.

The UPA government immediately ruled out any action against the DMK-led government. I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said: “We will do nothing to hurt the Tamil Nadu government. We are committed. They (DMK) are part of our government. We will not disturb the state government remotely, directly or explicitly.”

Justice Aggarwal asked the AIADMK counsel to file a contempt petition against the government and DMK. “If you are able to make out a case, we will summon the chief minister and the chief secretary,” he said.

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