Responds to critics who have questioned seriousness of his warning

Justifying his threat to leave the Congress-led UPA government if his demand that India seek effective amendments to strengthen the US-sponsored resolution in the UN Human Rights Council was not met, DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Saturday said that in the past such pressure tactics from him had produced the desired results.

Responding to scepticism voiced in the media about the seriousness behind his warning, and criticism that the DMK had so far had issued six such threats but did not carry them out, Mr. Karunanidhi said in a statement that the media could not suppress the fact that such threats had brought benefits to Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Karunanidhi said his announcement to withdraw DMK ministers from the Union Cabinet forced the Centre to give up the proposal to divest 10 per cent of its holding in of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

Similarly, the Centre came forward to support the resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last year only after the DMK threatened to leave the government. “The DMK agreed to continue in the government only after the Centre conceded its demand,” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi said critics of the DMK forgot the fact that it was a regional party and sought to portray it as a superpower that could have stopped the genocide in Sri Lanka in 2009.

“When they want to blame the Centre, they would describe it as a government in which the DMK is a partner. But they will never give credit to the DMK for the good deeds of the Centre. They are desperate to deny any credit to the DMK,” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he had threatened to quit the UPA government, as there was no proper answer from the Centre to his demand for India taking forward a resolution against Sri Lanka or openly express support to the US-sponsored resolution.

“Since we are part of the government, we first express our stand on important issues. We request the Centre, then make a demand and put pressure. When there is no hope, we take a final stand. It is common in politics and the DMK has taken appropriate decisions in the interest of Tamils. But those who cannot digest the DMK’s presence in the Centre may find these decisions strange,” he said.

Later, talking to reporters, he expressed his disappointment over the Centre’s silence on announcing its stand on the US-sponsored draft resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council for war crimes.

“The Centre is functioning as usual. That is why we are not saying anything openly,” he said, when asked whether he was disappointed with the Centre as it had not explicitly stated its stand.

When asked whether he had set any deadline for the Union government, he said: “The deadline depends on the Centre’s response.”

Mr. Karunanidhi said his ultimate expectation was that the Centre should take steps to bring in suitable amendments to the draft resolution to be moved by the US.

When asked why the Centre had not spelt out its stand even though AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad promised in the TESO meeting in Delhi that India’s stand would be guided by its earlier decision of voting against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC, Mr. Karunanidhi said his threat to leave the government would put adequate pressure on the Centre to do so.

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