Chennai: DMK president M. Karunanidhi Wednesday threatened to pull out of the UPA government over the hike in petrol prices but later did a quick U-turn.
Shortly after he made the threat while leading protests against rising prices, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister told reporters that he had not threatened to quit the Congress-led UPA.
‘I never said anything like that,’ Karunanidhi clarified, adding that his party would continue in the UPA and would not like to put any pressure on the central government ahead of presidential polls.
Speaking at the DMK office, he said he would never leave the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was looking into the issue of fuel prices.
‘The prime minister has promised action,’ he said.
His clarification came after the media began speculating the future of the UPA coalition if the DMK were to pull out.
‘We will stay with them (UPA) only till it is possible. If it is not possible, we will go our separate way and stress our policies,’ he said to loud applause from a crowd of DMK activists earlier.
He was talking about last week's petrol price hike.
‘Being part of the coalition has not prevented us from protesting anti-people policies. If our basic principles are threatened, we would persuade the centre to correct it,’ he said.
Kaunanidhi was leading the party's protest against the petrol price hike as well as the rise in milk, power and bus fares in Tamil Nadu.
He said it was not just the opposition parties but also the DMK and other UPA constituents who wanted the petrol prices rolled back.
‘Even Defence Minister A.K. Antony has (made the demand),’ he said.
He said it would be a race between the central and the AIADMK governments on who would pay heed to the plight of the common person and reduce prices that he said had hit the common man hard.