Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chidambaram: Nobody has questioned our stability

NEW DELHI, March 20, 2013 PTI

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 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.

With questions being raised about the stability of the government, Mr. Kamal Nath 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 UN Human Rights Council to adopt a "strong" resolution on Sri Lanka, Mr. 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.

The Finance Minister also dismissed allegations that India had sought dilution of the strongly-worded resolution by the US, saying it was an absolute "canard".

He said DMK's other demand for a resolution to be adopted by Parliament on Sri Lankan Tamils issue was also in the process of consultations with other parties.

Mr. Chidambaram claimed that the DMK was aware of the government's position on the issue but had changed its position between the night of March 18 and morning of March 19.

"We are not aware of the reasons why the DMK changed its position between the night of March 18 and the morning of March 19," Mr. Chidambaram said, while noting that DMK chief Karunanidhi had said the party would reconsider decision to withdraw support if Parliament adopts a resolution before the end of current sittings on March 22.

"Just because one ally pulled out, the government has not become weak... There is no political instability or political uncertainty... Nobody has questioned our stability except for few voices in the media," Mr. Chidambaram said.
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