New Delhi: Downplaying the DMK decision to pull out of the Congress-led UPA coalition in protest against the government's position on a US-backed United Nations resolution against Sri Lanka, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the government is stable and will continue to stay in power.
"The government is stable, the government will continue to stay in power," Chidambaram said. He further said, "Karunanidhi is a senior leader; we have taken note of his statement. We respect his statement. DMK requests are under consideration."
Expressing confidence that the government will strike a deal with Karunanidhi, Chidambaram said the DMK President has said that he will reconsider his decision depending on the resolution. "According to the media, the DMK President has said that he will reconsider his decision depending on the resolution," Chidambaram said.
Earlier, the DMK which has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha has withdrawn support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government over the US-sponsored resolution on alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan forces. Announcing the decision to pull out of the UPA, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said that the five ministers in the Union Ministry would put in their papers by Wednesday and give the letter of withdrawing support to President Pranab Mukherjee by Friday.
However, Karunanidhi also left the window for negotiations with the Congress open. "If the government passes a resolution in Parliament before Friday (March 21) condemning the Sri Lankan government, DMK is willing to reconsider its decision. The DMK ministers will resign today or tomorrow. The Centre is not doing enough for the Tamil cause," said Karunanidhi while announcing the pullout from the UPA in Chennai on Tuesday morning.
The DMK had reiterated its demand to the Central Government yesterday also. We are pulling out in of UPA completely and do not see any point in giving outside support, he said.
Blaming the Centre for not acting against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes against Tamils, Karunanidhi said that Tamils had always been denied their rights in Sri Lanka. "In complete support of the revolution in Sri Lanka and the rights of the Tamils, we have fought for their rights. DMK salutes all those who have lost their lives and all those who are protesting against Sri Lankan war crimes. Sri Lanka has committed serious crimes. The DMK has always condemned these crimes and we have always worked for the Tamils," he added.
After the DMK's decision to withdraw support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government, the UPA Government is now reduced to a minority.
Party positions in the Lok Sabha, which has 539 MPs at present as four seats are vacant, are as follows. The half-way mark is 270.
UPA has 250 seats with the DMK included.
Outside support for UPA totals 49, including:
UPA + outside support equals 299
With the DMK deciding to withdraw, the strength of the UPA drops by 18 to 232.
UPA + outside support in this case equals 281.
NDA - 152
Left + Others 88