Special Correspondent

Major opposition parties to boycott the meeting

Jayalalithaa says meeting is unnecessary

CHENNAI: A meeting of leaders of political parties that have representatives in the Assembly will be held on November 25 to discuss the further course of action on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Monday.

“As the disturbing news about the plight of Tamils, who have lost their lives and livelihood and are afraid of living there, reaches us every day, we have to contact the Centre and discuss the steps to be taken,” the Chief Minister had said in his letter to the Legislature Party leaders of various political parties.

Besides the Legislature party leader, the president or general secretary or the State secretary of the party could attend the meeting, the Chief Minister told reporters. But, the major opposition parties including the AIADMK, the MDMK and the CPI have decided to stay away from the meeting. Unlike the AIADMK and the MDMK, the CPI had attended the October 14 all-party meeting. AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said her party would boycott the meeting. Recalling the resolution passed at the all-party meeting on October 14 that the MPs from Tamil Nadu would resign if the Centre failed to intervene and help the Sri Lankan Tamils, she said the Chief Minister gave up the decision after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met him in Chennai.

“I don’t understand the need for a meeting. The AIADMK feels it is unnecessary,” she said.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said Mr. Karunanidhi should step down as the Chief Minister and dissolve the Assembly to condemn the inaction of the Centre. MDMK general secretary Vaiko said his party would not attend the meeting. CPI State secretary D. Pandian said his party could not attend the meeting announced by the government in the eleventh hour.

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