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Mar 20, 2013 at 11:44pm IST

Resignations of 5 DMK ministers accepted by PM, sent to President

New Delhi: 10.25 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepts resignations of five DMK ministers and forwards them to the President. Union Minister Srikant Jena gets additional charge of chemcials and fertilizers portfolio, held earlier by DMK chief's son MK Alagiri.

9.58 pm: Sources said that the Trinamool Congress may ask for a no-confidence motion against the government on Thursday. Sources added that the BJP was undecided on the trust vote.

ALSO SEE Govt working on SL resolution to placate DMK, but the task looks tough

9.16 pm: All-party meeting on the Sri Lankan resolution fails to reach consensus as most parties, including the Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal (United), oppose a country-specific resolution, say sources. The strategy meet at the residence of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is still underway.

8.59 pm: Several parties oppose country-specific resolution at the ongoing all-party meet on the Sri Lankan war crimes issue, say sources.

8:23 pm: The Samajwadi Party also opposes resolution on Sri Lanka at the all-party meeting, say sources.

8:13 pm: No consensus yet at the all-party meeting. Sources said the JD(U) opposed any country-specific resolution in the meeting called by the Speaker. Following the opposition of the JD(U), consensus on resolution might become difficult, they added.

7:36 pm: All-party meeting called by Speaker Meira Kumar underway.

7:15 pm: Strategy meeting to break the impasse on the Sri Lanka issue begins at Shinde's office.

7:13 pm: "We got the corrected US draft where it became evident that our amendments cannot be added, so we decided to quit," said DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

6:51 pm: Strategy meeting on the Sri Lanka resolution to be held at Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's office at 7 pm on Wednesday.

P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath and Rajiv Shukla are likely to attend the meeting, which aims at breaking the impasse on the resolution.

5:11 pm: The government's draft resolution on Sri Lanka calls for an "independent and credible investigation" into the alleged war crimes by Sri Lankan Army against the ethnic Tamils, sources said. However, the term 'genocide' has not been included and the resolution is not yet "final", the sources added.

4:29 pm: Speaker Meira Kumar calls an all-party meeting at 7:30 pm on Wednesday on the Lankan Tamils issue.

3:00 pm: Even as the government says that consultations on moving amendments to the US-backed resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes are on, the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka is likely to take place as early as Thursday in Geneva, according to sources.

2:45 pm: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said the government is on a ventilator. "The government is on ventilator, why is the SP supporting the government, it has to answer," he said.

1:40 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh has said the BJP does not need to bring a no-confidence motion against the UPA government. "There is no need for the BJP to bring in a no-confidence motion against the government. Allies will leave it one by one," he said.

12:52 pm: The remaining two DMK ministers, Azhagiri and D Napolean, have also submitted their resignations to the Prime Minister.

12:35 pm: The DMK ministers have resigned, and now the SP and BSP support for the UPA government is crucial. SP MPs are on the other hand demanding Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma's resignation for his comment accusing party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav of having links with terrorists. Congress President Sonia met Mulayam and sources say she told Mulayam that Beni Prasad's views are not the party's views, they are his individual views.

12:28 pm: DMK member Vasanthi Stanley fainted in the Rajya Sabha while protesting against Sri Lankan war crimes and has been rushed to the hospital.

12:23 pm: Three DMK ministers, SS Palanimanickam, Gandhiselvan and S Jagathrakshakan, have met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and submitted their resignations.

12:15 pm: DMK chief Karunanidhi has said there is no change in his party's stand of withdrawing from the government. "We reiterate our demand for stronger amendments in the US draft in Geneva and a strong resolution to be passed in Parliament. The demands made by DMK were not considered by the central government and thus, there is no change in our stand," Karunanidhi said.

12:09 pm: DMK MPs shouted 'We want justice' slogans in the Rajya Sabha, following which the House was adjourned again.

12:05 pm: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath met Leaders of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj seeking their support in passing key bills in the House. The BJP rejected his demand and asked to first build consensus with his own allies.

12:03 pm: Sources say the resolution on Sri Lanka is unlikely in Parliament as there is no consensus.

11:55 am: The DMK ministers will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 12 noon to submit their resignations.

11:30 am: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till noon after uproar over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.

11:15 am: The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till noon after uproar over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue

10:50 am: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said no party has challenged the government for a floor test. "No party has challenged us for a floor test. No one has challenged the majority of the government inside or outside Parliament," he said.

10:45 am: Students in Chennai continued to hold protests against Sri Lankan war crimes at the Marina Beach.

10:40 am: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government was not a lame duck government and was stable. He also said the image of the government was not tarnished. "It is wrong to say that the image of the government has suffered, the image of the government is related to the work of the government. It has nothing to do with DMK or an ally moving out," Kamal Nath said.

10:25 am: Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the government intends to amend the resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes, but was still holding talks with other parties to come to a conclusion. "The position of the party is that we intend to amend the resolution. The opinion among other parties so far is divided. We will continue to speak to other parties to come to a consensus," Chidambaram said.

He also said that the government has no clue as to why the DMK changed its position between March 19 morning and night. Chidambaram said the DMK submitted its withdrawal letter even as consultations on the issue were on. "On the issue of the resolution to be adopted by parliament, Kamal Nath started consultations with other parties, the opinion so far is divided. Even as another meeting was underway DMK went ahead and submitted their letter. We don't know what happened in between the morning of yesterday and the evening," Chidambaram said.

10:05 am: The government is confident and has ruled out snap polls. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the UPA government has the numbers and that SP and BSP are backing it.

9:05 am: The DMK has ruled out any compromise saying it is ending the nine-year alliance with the Congress with a heavy heart over the UN resolution on Sri Lanka. "There is no question of reconsidering when the resolution is to be passed day after tomorrow as there are just two days left now. In no ways is India helping the Tamils," DMK leader TKS Elangovan said.

With the DMK out, the government is depending on Mulayam and Mayawati and significantly, the Samajwadi Party has upped the rhetoric. It has said that the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had better leadership than the UPA now. But the party added that it won't withdraw just yet.

The UPA government is still working on a resolution on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue in a desperate last ditch effort to get the DMK back on board. But a breakthrough looks unlikely at the moment. The UPA government is likely to move amendments to the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. But moving the amendments is no easy task and will involve hectic lobbying.

The resolution, as it stands, has been 45 days in the making. It is expected to pass with more numbers than the resolution last year. Minor tinkering in the resolution may work, but pushing in intrusive language like 'genocide' or 'international inspections', as demanded by the DMK, at the very last stage is virtually impossible.

What India would be trying to do is what even the US didn't push for and the US may not be willing to risk a collapse of the resolution at the last stage. Not just the US, India will have to persuade a large number of other countries, which is a difficult task.

All these contraints will be highlighted by Dilip Sinha, India's envoy in Geneva, during foreign office consultations in Delhi on Wednesday. This even as UPA's future hangs in balance with the DMK pulling out support.

DMK leader TR Baalu met President Pranab Mukherjee late on Tuesday night to submit his party's letter of withdrawal just over 12 hours after DMK chief Karunanidhi announced in Chennai DMK's decision of pulling out of UPA on the question of UN resolution on Sri Lanka.

"I have informed the president of our decision of walking out of UPA. No question of any rethink," Baalu said. The DMK ministers will submit their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

The reason why this speed of handing over the letter of withdrawal of support was shown was the position taken by the DMK. CNN-IBN has learned that the DMK has been adamant in inclusion of words 'genocide' , 'war crime' and 'international probe' in the proposed Parliament resolution. The government is willing to offer the term 'Independent' , 'credible probe' instead. But the government formula has been rejected by DMK.

So with the DMK pulling out with its 18 members, the UPA is now entirely dependent on the two UP leaders Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, both unpredictable, and with a canny ability to extract a heavy price for their help.

With the DMK pulling out, the UPA is now a minority government. Will the UPA survive till the 2014 elections or will a no confidence motion lead to snap polls this year? Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manusinghvi said, "It is nothing but sensational suggestions that the government is falling tomorrow, the government is falling day after. It's a lameduck ICU."

Congress 202



Others 16

Outside support for UPA totals 49, including:

SP 22

BSP 21



UPA + outside support equals 281

The Opposition:

NDA - 152

Left + Others 88

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