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DMK chief Karunanidhi appeals to PM to boycott CHOGM

CNN-IBN
Nov 08, 2013 at 03:26pm IST

New Delhi: DMK chief Karunanidhi on Friday appealed to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once again to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meet in Sri Lanka.

"The Prime Minister has a conscience, enough if acts according to his conscience. I did not threaten on withdrawing support. It's been long time since we withdrew our support," Karunanidhi said.

ALSO SEE Cong leadership meets to discuss PM\'s participation in CHOGM

Meanwhile, the Congress core group met on Friday to decide on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should participate in CHOGM meet in Sri Lanka or not.

A meeting of the Congress Core Group headed by party president Sonia Gandhi deliberated over the issue for more than one hour and a decision is likely to be announced shortly.

ALSO SEE Compromise plan on the cards for PM's Sri Lanka visit for CHOGM

Political parties and various groups in Tamil Nadu are strongly opposed to India's participation in the summit and the Tamil Nadu Assembly recently adopted a resolution demanding a complete boycott of the event alleging that Sri Lanka has indulged in atrocities against ethnic Tamils.

The government is in a dilemma over the issue with some sections feeling that the Prime Minister's absence at the CHOGM could affect India's image internationally and hence he must participate.

The issue was discussed last month also by the Core Group and Union Ministers P Chidambaram and AK Antony are learnt to have suggested that the PM should not visit Colombo to attend the meet. Congress has so far refused to publically take a stand on the politically-sensitive issue.

The party has said it will back whatever decision the Prime Minister takes on India's participation in the summit keeping in mind national interests. Union ministers V Narayanasamy, Jayanthi Natarajan and GK Vasan have publicly opposed the Prime Minister's participation in the summit.

MEA has been favouring Singh's visit to Sri Lanka for CHOGM, maintaining that it was vital for him to be present at this meet as it will reflect India's interests and is also paramount to the nation's strategic and security interests. The officials are also keen that the Prime Minister takes the opportunity to visit Northern Province where India has given lot of assistance.

(With additional information from PTI)

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