UF parties warn Gujral against dumping DMK
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
The ruling United Front constituents today warned Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral against succumbing to Congress pressure on dropping the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham from the government.
''We, too, would disassociate ourselves from the multi-party coalition,'' said the constituents.
The DMK has reportedly been indicted by the Jain Commission probing Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.
According to senior UF leaders, the warning came from the Telugu Desam Party, the Asom Gana Parishad and the Left parties.
The veiled threat of these parties is that if the Congress takes an adamant stand on the DMK, the Gujral government will collapse as the UF is solidly behind the DMK. This would bring a snap poll -- a proposition which does not appeal to a majority of Congress MPs.
The UF constituents feel it is better for Gujral to go down fighting rather bow down to the Congress, which is likely to be seen as a compromise.
It is learnt that the constituents have told Gujral that he ''should not be bothered if the Congress makes the Commission report an election issue''.
Gujral, however, has been asked to wait till the Commission report and the action taken report are tabled in Parliament. The prime minister could finalise his strategy on the basis of the Congress's reaction.
In the midst of these developments, the Congress's dilemma does not seem to have subsided. Having made the Commission report its main issue for the winter session, the Congress will have to take the issue to its logical conclusion lest it lose face.
That may not be easy as the UF government's fall would be a major triumph for the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Already, the Congress leadership is understood to be carrying on an exercise to determine which MPs are 'BJP-friendly' and are likely to cross over to the saffron party if the Gujral government falls.
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