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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightThree DMK ministers...

Three DMK ministers quit; govt confident of numbers

Three DMK ministers quit; govt confident of numbers

Chennai/ New Delhi: Three DMK ministers submitted their resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

S Jagathrakshakan, minister of state for information and broadcasting, S Gandhiselvan, minister of state for health and family welfare, and SS Palanimanickam, minister of state for finance, put in their papers after their party chief M Karunanidhi announced on Tuesday he was pulling out of the UPA to protest India's stand on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.

Earlier, the government insisted that it has not become "lame duck" after key ally's exit.

Finance minister P Chidambaram told a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday that the government is "not aware" of the reason why the DMK chief changed his mind on supporting the government from the night of March 18 and the morning of March 19.

Unfazed by the DMK's withdrawal of support to the UPA, government on Wednesday asserted it was "absolutely stable" and not a "lame duck" and said it will move amendments to the resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC to send a "resolute message" on that country's human rights.

The government fielded three senior ministers -- P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath and Manish Tewari -- before the media to insist that DMK's demands were in the process of being considered and wondered why the ally changed its position after promising to reconsider its decision to withdraw support.

The UPA's second biggest constituent with 18 Lok Sabha MPs quit the alliance on Tuesday.

With questions being raised about the stability of the government, Kamal Nath, the minister for parliamentary affairs, firmly said, "We are not a lame duck government."

"The government is neither lame nor is it a duck. We are absolutely stable. No political party has come out to challenge our majority," he said.

Stating that India wanted the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to adopt a "strong" resolution on Sri Lanka, Chidambaram said India will move amendments to the draft to send a "resolute message" to that country on alleged human rights violations of Tamils and "goad" it to have an independent inquiry, a key demand of the DMK.


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