Published On: Tue, Nov 12th, 2013

DMK to support resolution over boycott of CHOGM in TN Assembly

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Chennai: Expressing displeasure that the Centre had ignored calls for India’s total boycott of the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, DMK on Tuesday said it would support any resolution in the special Tamil Nadu Assembly session if it was beneficial for the welfare of Tamils.

“If the resolution is brought for the welfare of Tamils, if the resolution is brought in a way to lend hands to Tamils, who are now orphans and suffering people, we consider it is our duty to support the resolution,” DMK president M Karunanidhi told reporters here.

He was responding to a question whether his party would extend its support even if the resolution takes a strong stand against the UPA Government.

He, however, said DMK’s view was that supporting the resolution without any other opinion would alone express the unity of people in Tamil Nadu.

He was speaking after chairing a meeting of party MLAs to decide its stand to be taken at the emergent session of the assembly convened for this evening in the backdrop of raging protests over India’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Karunanidhi said DMK would support if any resolution was brought against External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s participation in CHOGM, noting that the House had earlier passed a resolution demanding a “complete boycott”.

Asked whether his party’s support to the Centre was issue-based, he said, “Support is not for Congress. (It is) issue-based support.”

“No one would deliberately criticise the Centre. Centre has not listened to our opinion that India should boycott Commonwealth meeting, even after having pointed out the hardships our Lankan brothers are facing in Sri Lanka. We are in a position to express our displeasure,” he said.

Karunanidhi also recalled his earlier demand that not even a speck of rust from India should participate in CHOGM and also another earlier comment that it was only a partial relief that the Prime Minister was not participating in the meeting.

He said his comments on Khurshid’s visit to Lanka were made with ‘half-heart’.

“I did not say with full heart, that it was a consolation (PM skipping CHOGM). I said it was only a partial consolation. At the same time, I did not welcome it. On Salman Khurshid, I said it was debatable.”

On whether DMK would hold protests against Khurshid’s participation in CHOGM, he said: “We have organised many protests on behalf of Tamils earlier. If needed, we would stage a protest.”

Asked whether he would personally attend the session this evening, the 90-year old DMK patriarch said “There are no seats there suitable for me to sit.”

To a question on comments that Commonwealth was a body without teeth, he said, “I am not ready to answer criticism over Commonwealth conference. I am not ready to criticise a conference, which many countries are participating.”

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