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DMK's 7 ministers to quit today over Lankan Tamils issue

A Correspondent in New Delhi | October 17, 2008 13:32 IST

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Seven Union ministers belonging to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, including T R Baalu and A Raja, will be meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at 8 pm in Chennai today to submit their resignation from the Lok Sabha. This is part of the DMK's tactic to force the central government to act decisively vis a vis the Sri Lankan Tamils.

This is a major political challenge to the prime minister and is bound to embroil the United Progressive Alliance government in a serious crisis.

That the DMK has chosen Friday 8 pm in Chennai to flex its muscles means that its 16 Lok Sabha and three Rajya Sabha MPs will not be attending to either their ministerial office or Parliament from Monday.

The DMK is determined to create further trouble for the UPA government by raising the heat over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

As part of this strategy, Monday onwards the seven ministers will not be a part of the treasury benches.

This decision is bound to put Congress ministers like P Chidambaram and Mani Shankar Aiyar, also from Tamil Nadu, in an embarrassing position. Given the sentiments involved, can they ignore the highly emotive issue?

The question uppermost on the minds of political observers is, given this major crisis facing his government, will the prime minister undertake his China visit scheduled for next week?

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