With various trade unions at Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) going ahead with their strike in defiance of court order, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Thursday sought UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s intervention to withdraw the Centre’s decision to disinvest five per cent stake in the PSU.

In a letter to Ms. Gandhi, Mr. Karunanidhi recalled that a similar situation had arisen in 2006, when DMK was in power, with NLC trade unions going on a strike against a decision by the Centre then to sell off 10 per cent stakes. He had written to her then, seeking withdrawal of the decision, he said.

Then also there had been strong opposition to disinvest 10 per cent stakes in NLC with employees embarking on strike, prompting government to withdraw its decision after the situation became “alarming”, he said. “I request you once again that the Government should reconsider its recent decision, because it involves the problems of 25,000 employees and if the strike continues power generation will be totally affected... hence I request you to impress upon the Government to consider the impact of the this decision and withdraw the policy of disinvestment of shares in NLC,” he said.

Copies of the letter were sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.