Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance for the last nine years, has pulled out of the coalition government saying the Centre has betrayed the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils. The party had many opportunities to withdraw support to the UPA on issues affecting the people of our own country. Instead, it chose to confront its ally on an issue that concerns a section of the Sri Lankan population. Were its MPs elected by the people of India or Sri Lanka? It is clear that with parliamentary elections round the corner, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi needed an excuse to ditch the Congress. He did the same thing with the NDA, dumping it just before the 2004 elections, after enjoying power at the Centre for four long years.
The DMK is playing politics of opportunism with an eye on the next general election. Just as India wants its citizens to enjoy their rights within the constitutional framework, Sri Lanka expects the Tamil community to exercise its rights within a unified state. Congress leaders need not feel jittery over the DMK’s move as a good number of parties will be ready to prop up the UPA government to further their politics and needs.
With coalitions becoming the order of the day, political parties should not only be fair in making demands but should also be seen to be fair in making them. We have seen partners arm-twisting the leader of the coalition to withdraw CBI cases (or go slow on them) and seeking other personal favours.
Coming to the Sri Lankan issue, it is true that all was not fair in the last days of the Sri Lanka-LTTE war, but the government was decimating a terrorist outfit. Not everything is above board in such operations.