In what could spell further trouble for the UPA government, DMK Chief Karunanidhi has said that he will have no hesitation in pulling out of the government alliance if it continues with “anti people policies”. The comments were made in a massive state-wide rally held by the DMK to protest the highest-ever petrol price hike, and were greeted with cheers and whistles.
“If this government continues to violate the fundamental principles of the Dravidian movement, we will have no hesitation in separating from the UPA alliance”, said Karunanidhi at a public rally. He added that the DMK had to look after its own principles and policies, and said he hoped the government would not drive the DMK to take this course of action.
The 88-year-old DMK patriarch said his party had walked out of alliances, “whether it be the BJP (led NDA) or while being in the VP Singh cabinet.”
“We have never hesitated to raise voice of opposition whenever the basic principles were hurt and if we cannot solve it by being an ally, we have not hesitated to come out and uphold those principles,” he said.
Describing the hike as “atrocious”, Karunanidhi said not just opposition parties or UPA constituents but even Congress leader and Defence Minister AK Antony had expressed dissent over the petrol price hike, saying it was unacceptable.
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should take cognizance of this and offer relief to the common man,” he said.
Karunanidhi’s statements is being seen as a means of drumming up support for the party by playing on popular sentiment, with some analysts noting that by making this statement the party was positioning itself to take credit from a widely expected decision by oil companies to reduce the price of petrol.
The DMK has made similar statements in the past, most notably over the 2G scam and the UN resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka. If the UPA does lose the support of the party it will fall short of a majority in Parliament by a significant 13 seats, as the DMK has 18 parliamentarians.