Enthused by the recent opinion poll that has given a possible 18 per cent vote share to the Congress in Tamil Nadu, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Saturday said the party’s presence would be of great advantage to any alliance in the State.

Talking to reporters here, he said the CNN-IBN -The Hindu election tracker survey showed that the Congress could provide a good base for a victorious alliance in the Lok Sabha polls.

He rejected the allegation that the Congress-DMK combine let down the Sri Lankan Tamils, saying that if Tamils in Sri Lanka had some sense of security it was because India was playing the role of a guardian.

Recalling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s letter to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, Mr. Vasan said the Prime Minister had clearly indicated India’s stand that it would not allow dilution of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution.

When a reporter referred to Mr. Karunanidhi’s argument that the Rajiv Gandhi-Jayawardene agreement of 1987, on which the 13 Amendment is based, could only be a temporary solution and that a permanent solution for the Tamil people there could be found only through a referendum among them, Mr. Vasan said the 1987 accord formed the basis for a solution too.

To a question on the suspension of Central government projects, he said both the State and the Centre should work together.

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