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Tamil parties react strongly to reports of PMs decision on CHOGM

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Tamil Nadu political parties and erstwhile UPA allies the DMK and the VCK reacted strongly to the nod given by the Congress core group for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo mid-November.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have strongly opposed India’s participation in the meet, hosted by Sri Lanka, accusing the Mahinda Rajapaksa government of doing precious little with regard to rehabilitation of the internally displaced Tamils.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi told reporters in Chennai all the political parties in the state had demanded that Prime Minister skip the summit. But reports in the media suggest that he was likely to attend it. If the PM attended the meet, his party would have to face the consequences, the DMK chief warned. “What you sow you shall reap,” Karunanidhi cautioned. If the PM decides to attend the CHOGM might prove a setback to possible future ties between the Congress and the DMK for the Lok Sabha elections.

In Delhi, Union shipping minister G K Vasan met the PM and is said to have expressed his opposition to Singh’s participation in the Commonwealth summit. “I have expressed the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu. The PM said he will take a final decision after eliciting the views of all the political parties,” Vasan told TOI. The AIADMK government had moved a resolution in the state assembly, which got support from members of all the political parties, demanding that India boycott the meet.

The Congress Core Committee took the decision on Wednesday night during which members are said to have assessed the possible political fallout of the PM’s decision to go ahead and attend the CHOGM.

On whether it was acceptable for a representative of the UPA government to attend the meet, Karunanidhi said, “If we demand that India should not participate, it means no one from our country should go”. The DMK leader said the party-sponsored Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) had passed a resolution on the issue. “But, the Congress party and the PM are acting against it”, he said.

VCK leader and MP Thol Tirumvavalavan demanded that the Congress committee reverse its decision. “In his letter to the DMK chief, the PM had assured he will respect the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu. But his decision to participate in the CHOGM is shocking,” he told reporters in Puducherry. He also announced protests by his party in Chennai on November 3.

Media reports about the PM’s decision to participate in the CHOGM sparked protests, with party cadres setting afire photographs of Manmohan Singh and external affairs minister Salman Khurshid in some places in Tamil Nadu, including Coimbatore. - ToI

Posted on Friday, November 01, 2013 @ 03:49:04 LKT by

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