OPINION: UPA in crisis with start of magic number game
Author(s): Harish K. MongaThe withdrawal of support by K. Karunanidhi, Chief DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) – a state political party of Tamilnadu from UPA (United Progressive Alliance) on the issue of case of Tamils in Sri Lanka to...
The withdrawal of support by K. Karunanidhi, Chief DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) – a state political party of Tamilnadu from UPA (United Progressive Alliance) on the issue of case of Tamils in Sri Lanka to be supported by the government, is likely to reduce the government to minority. But with the outside support of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), saw no threat to the coalition even as the BJP opted not to bring a no-confidence motion, waiting for the government to fall on its own. Thus, the UPA can survive with the support of other parties.
However, the 88-year-old former Tamil Nadu chief minister has kept a window open for the return of the DMK to the UPA fold, saying it was ready to reconsider its decision if Parliament adopts a resolution before March 21 taking DMK's concerns on board. The Congress core group, taking a clue from this statement, the UPA is thinking a resolution, which has nothing of what the DMK wants, to be brought in Parliament to pacify or make DMK leader less angry.
According to Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, her party pulled out in protest against government's position on alleged human rights violations of Tamils in a UN resolution on war crimes in Sri Lanka on the bloody end to Sri Lanka’s civil war with the separatists Tamil Tigers, because it had no choice. DMK wants the government to introduce stronger language into the U.N. resolution, including the use of the word "genocide" to describe the deaths of Tamils during Sri Lanka's civil war.
In brief, the US resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva, has not adopted for any international enquiry into alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan defence forces in the final phase of the country's civil war with the separatist Tamil Tigers. At the same time, India too is concerned that strong a resolution will anger Sri Lanka and push it deeper into China's sphere of influence. The UN has estimated that some 40,000 people were killed in the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war, while rights groups put the death toll even higher. Sri Lanka denies that its forces killed civilians.
With the DMK pullout, the strength of the UPA, has reduced to 224 after its withdrawal but it enjoyed the support of 281 MPs that included those of outside supporting parties. SP (22) and BSP (21) were among the outside supporters (57) in the House where the magic number for a majority is 272. Though Karunanidhi has ruled out any outside support but the UPA is still hope of finding a common ground where DMK’s support, with five DMK ministers out of 18 Lok Sabha MPs and 6 Rajya Sabha MPs, will be given to the UPA.
It is an admitted fact, in the political game of vote banks on political rights for Tamils, Karunanidhi is right to be concerned about Sri Lanka but the matter is for Sri Lankans, Sinhala and Tamil to resolve, not for India. The withdrawing of support drama, by the second biggest party in India’s coalition, shaking the UPA of early elections before their scheduled date next year, has cropped up, after six months when Mamata Banerjee severed ties with the UPA while preventing pro-India alignment in Bangladesh on Teesta Waters’s issue.
The political thinkers of the view that pull-out is a blackmailing by the DMK and there is no threat to the Congress government as minority governments have functioned in the past and done very well. In fact, none expected early polls but it would be a tough time for the Congress-led UPA government, which has become United Poor Alliance from United Progress Alliance, to walk on the crutches offered by BSP and SP. The Congress must be serious with its allies who can withdraw support at any time giving a fillip to the early general elections already due in next year. But will Congress consider, only the time will tell which way the wind blows?
(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of City Air News.)