After hemming and hawing for days about its stand on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, the DMK, a constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), on Tuesday decided to support the government on the issue, “to prevent its fall and the communal BJP from coming to power.”

The continuation of the UPA at the Centre is the need of the hour, Mr. Karunanidhi said in a statement, explaining his party’s decision.

Reminded about his earlier stand that the DMK will not support FDI in retail, Mr. Karunanidhi said that the insistence of the BJP and other parties on a debate with voting had an ulterior motive. There was no denying the fact that the government was likely to fall if the Opposition’s demand for a debate with voting was allowed in Parliament.

“They are keen on changing the government and creating tumultuous scenes in Parliament. We understood their designs and decided to support the government,” he told reporters here.

Some weeks ago, the DMK leader had indicated that his party would go against FDI in retail if there was a vote. He later diluted his stand by talking about retaining the “suspense” over what the party would do. His clarification on Tuesday ended the suspense.

The DMK leader said that if the UPA Government plunged into a crisis, it would be an advantage to the communal BJP, which made a mountain out of a molehill in the 2G spectrum allocation case and levelled imaginative allegations against the Centre about a purported loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

“When these facts are taken into account, the present situation will benefit the BJP and other communal forces. If the BJP gains ground and a government supported by it comes to power it may lead to more and more 2G-like allegations, kar sevas, Babri Masjid-type demolitions and violence against minorities. We should not give any room for a party that will create panic over imaginary scams and make people fall a prey to its designs to come to power.”

Mr. Karunanidhi said that FDI in retail would not affect small traders and farmers in Tamil Nadu, as the Centre had made it clear that it would not compel any State to implement its decision.

“Public peace, economic growth and welfare of the people will be ensured only if a government elected by the people remains stable and strong,” he said.

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