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Centre acting on Ram Sethu a coincidence: DMK

A Ganesh Nadar in New Delhi | July 22, 2008 12:16 IST

On Sunday, Members of Parliament from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] in New Delhi and submitted a petition protesting the recent cases of the Sri Lankan navy targeting Tamil Nadu fishermen who venture into their territory by mistake. Last week, two fishermen were reportedly killed by the Lankan navy.

The DMK MPs maintain that they met Dr Singh to discuss a 15-year-old issue and it is a mere coincidence that the government decided to appeal against the stay on the Sethusamudram project on Tuesday, the very day the Lok Sabha will vote on the government's motion of confidence.

According to reliable sources, the government will ask the Supreme Court to vacate the stay so that it can continue dredging operations across the Adam's bridge.

Also Read: Controversy over Ram Sethu

The DMK MPs deny they raised the Sethusamudram issue during their meeting with the prime minister. Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu, the leader of the DMK delegation and one of the the main supporters of the project, was unavailable for comment.

Also Read: Alliance in Crisis

The project is being implemented with the Tuticorin Port Trust as the nodal agency. The government-owned Dredging Corporation of India [Get Quote] has outsourced part of the dredging work to foreign companies.

In Tamil Nadu politics, the DMK cannot survive without the support of Congress members of the assembly, but it has prevented Congress MLAs from being part of the state government.

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