Millennium Post

DMK’s morality play is a sham

With only a year to go before the general elections, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has quit the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) placing it in trouble. It has done so on the basis of political calculations over the issue of the central government’s position on the United Nations resolution on war crimes against Tamils during Sri Lanka’s civil war. It has figured out that there was more to gain from leaving the ruling coalition at the centre at this time than by persisting with it. The sensitive subject of Sri Lankan Tamils has gained momentum in Tamil Nadu, being largely spontaneous, and there are political dividends to be gained for the DMK from being seen to be spearheading it. The DMK would like India to support a more strongly worded UN resolution as well as have an international panel to investigate the war crimes, both of which demands are difficult for the Congress-led UPA combine to comply with, given its global and domestic political compulsions. Though the DMK had seemed to have climbed down a bit on Monday saying that it would reconsider its pullout threat if the Indian Parliament passed a resolution on its demands, it has now gone ahead with it, having had a change of mind, with the Parliament session going into a recess for about a month from March 22.
It has been clear to the DMK from the outset of the protests around the Lankan issue that if it did not support this popular movement, it would be attacked for being part of the central government and would lose approval amongst the Tamils. Moreover, the alliance had not been a success in Tamil Nadu in the 2011 assembly election, though it had worked in the previous Lok Sabha and assembly elections. The DMK’s opponent, the AIADMK has also chosen to ride the Sri Lankan Tamils’ bandwagon and this has left the party with little choice but to indulge in competitive politics.  The party patriarch M Karunanidhi has thus decided to placate the Tamils within Tamil Nadu with an eye on future electoral prospects. The DMK pullout has serious ramifications for the UPA, particularly the Congress considering that the party has 18 members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha. The Congress now becomes dependent on the outside support of the Samajwadi Party and the BSP and this can lead to a general election before the due date. Governance is likely to go for a six with both these parties demanding their pound of flesh from the Congress for their support. The UPA government may no longer be able to deliver on a progressive economic and social agenda. As for the DMK, it should have resigned long ago from the government given its deep involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.
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