TAMIL NADU

DPA will press for amicable settlement

CHENNAI, AUG. 14. The Members of Parliament belonging to the parties in the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) will meet the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to hand over a memorandum on the ongoing agitation by lawyers in the State.

They will press for an amicable settlement of the issues raised by the lawyers, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president, M. Karunanidhi, told presspersons here today after chairing a meeting of party MPs.

When it was pointed out that that the lawyers were mainly demanding the transfer of the Madras High Court Chief Justice, B. Subhashan Reddy, and sorting out of the issue of territorial jurisdiction of the Madurai Bench, Mr. Karunanidhi said the easier of the two should be done. Asked whether this meant the Chief Justice should be transferred, he reiterated that the easier of the two demands could be met.

To another query which was easier to concede, he drew a parallel from mythology and said it was like trying to decide who should get the fruit, Muruga or Vinayaka.

Asked whether lawyers could go on strike, Mr. Karunanidhi said it was not correct to create conditions which led them to launch an agitation.

On the petition the Opposition parties gave the Governor, P.S. Ramamohan Rao, Mr. Karunanidhi said he was away in Athens. Only after he came back would details on the action he had taken be known.

A `ruse'

On the traditional Independence Day tea party not being hosted this time, he said even the national flag was not being hoisted from the usual place. ``This is only a ruse to justify the building of a new Secretariat.''

Replying to the charge that the 12 Union Ministers from Tamil Nadu were not helping the State, Mr. Karunanidhi said the Ministers wanted to act, particularly those from the Pattali Makkal Katchi. ``I am preventing them,'' he said.

Asked whether this meant the Ministers were keen on using the provisions of Article 356 and dismissing the State Government, Mr. Karunanidhi said: "Write only what I have said."

On the proposed law to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act, he said it would be possible to comment only after the Bill came up for discussion.

Earlier, the MPs discussed the issues likely to be raised in the coming Parliament session.

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