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Seven DMK ministers to quit today over Lanka issue
2008-10-17 09:45:39

CHENNAI: All the seven DMK ministers in the UPA government are expected to submit their resignation letters to party leader and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi today to mount pressure on the Manmohan Singh regime to intervene in Sri Lanka, the Times of India reported.

Simultaneously, Karunanidhi on Thursday announced a human chain protest in Chennai on October 21 to ask the Centre to act on an 'all-party' meeting's call that India take steps to halt the war in the island and dispatch humanitarian assistance to Tamil civilians affected by the conflict.

A senior Tamil Nadu minister told TOI that the seven ministers — cabinet ministers T R Baalu and A Raja, and ministers of state — S S Palanimanickam, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, S Regupathy, K Venkatapathy and Radhika Selvi — would hand over post-dated letters addressed to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to Karunanidhi for quitting their parliamentary seats.

To scotch criticism that the resignation would only affect MPs while allowing ministers to remain in office for a six-month period, Karunanidhi clarified that DMK ministers at the Centre would also quit the government when they resign their seats in Parliament. He also recalled the resignation of Baalu and Raja from Vajpayee government five years ago.

"We will have no option but to quit if the Centre fails to take strong measures to stop the killing of our brethren in the island. We will have no hesitation in stepping down to show our solidarity with the beleaguered Tamil people," the minister said. He added that the DMK chief would forward the letters after watching the developments.

Sources said the DMK is thinking of collecting relief materials like food, clothes and medicine and send them through the Red Cross to Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka's north, if the Centre failed to do so. .

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