The all-party meeting convened by government to explore the possibility of Parliament adopting a resolution against Sri Lanka on Wednesday night saw most parties opposing such a move, leaving no scope for it.
Sources said as most of the parties were not in favour, the idea is as good as given up.
Samajwadi Party, which supports the government from outside, said Sri Lanka is a friendly country and the Parliament should not pass a resolution against it.
“We are with Lankan Tamils but there is no need for a resolution by Parliament as Lanka is the only country which stood with us during the 1962 China war.
“We have recently rejected Pakistan parliament resolution on Afzal Guru. How can we do the same to a friendly neighbour.
At the UNHCR, India should do what is in the national interest and interst of Tamils of Lanka,” said SP leader Rewati Raman Singh while emerging from the meeting convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.
JD(U) Sharad Yadav also echoed similar views at the meeting where he is understood to have questioned the logic of adopting a resolution against a sovereign nation.
He is believed to have told the meeting that if India has to provide relief to Sri Lankan Tamils, it should do so without antagonising the host country, sources said.
Nath said the meeting was “inconclusive”. He said the meeting had been called to end the impasse in Parliament over the Lankan Tamil issue but “it has not produced any results”.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj questioned why all parties had been called for the meeting to discuss an issue which strictly is between the government and DMK.
DMK, which withdrew from the government yesterday, had demanded that government should get a resolution passed by Parliament against Sri Lanka.
Swaraj said the government had told the Opposition that it wanted to hold the meeting to end the impasse in Parliament over Sri Lanka.
“We had never created the impasse. The impasse is between government and DMK and it is for them to sit together and resolve it,” she said.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the issue was between the government and DMK to settle.
Though the DMK withdrew support to the UPA and its ministers in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet resigned on Wednesday, the government has decided to go ahead with the proposed resolution in Parliament on the Sri Lanka issue.
Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla said an all-party meeting has been convened this evening to discuss the resolution. There are differences between parties on the wording of the resolution with DMK and AIADMK demanding that the term “genocide” be include while condemning the atrocities against Tamils of Sri Lanka during the recent civil war.
Earlier on the day, the government announced that it will also move amendments to the resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC to send a “resolute message” on that country’s human rights issue.
Refusing to be on the back foot despite DMK’s withdrawal, the government on Wednesday asserted that it is “absolutely stable” and “not lame duck” amid BSP’s promise to stand by the UPA even as SP kept it guessing.
The government also said India will move amendments to the US-piloted resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC to send a “resolute message” on that country’s human rights and was working to bring a resolution to be adopted by Parliament here, the two demands set by DMK.
Stressing that India wanted the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to adopt a “strong” resolution on Sri Lanka, finance minister P Chidambaram said India will move amendments to the draft to send a “resolute message” to that country on alleged human rights violations of Tamils and “goad” it to have an independent inquiry, a key demand of the DMK.
Chidambaram also dismissed allegations that India had sought dilution of the strongly-worded resolution by the US, saying it was an absolute “canard”.
He had also said DMK’s demand for a resolution to be adopted by Parliament on Sri Lankan Tamils issue was in the process of consultations with other parties.
DMK, UPA’s second biggest constituent with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, quit the alliance yesterday.
Chidambaram claimed that the DMK was aware of the government’s position on the issue but had changed its position between night of March 18 and morning of March 19.
“We are not aware of the reasons why the DMK changed its position between the night of March 18 and the morning of March 19,” Chidambaram said, while noting that DMK supremo M Karunanidhi had said the party would reconsider decision to withdraw support if Parliament adopts a resolution before the end of current sittings on March 22.
DMK ally VCK, with one member in Lok Sabha, also quit UPA. With the exit of DMK and VCK, UPA is left with the support of 284 members in the 543-member House.
Chidambaram and Kamal Nath rejected any impression that the government has become “weak” after DMK’s pullout.
“The government is neither lame, nor duck. It is not lame duck. We are absolutely, absolutely stable. If there is any test, it is on the floor of the House. But no political party has come out to challenge our majority,” Nath, the parliamentary affairs minister, told the press conference.
Chidambaram, while acknowledging “challenges” in running a coalition government, said, “it is our duty to steer the ship through the maelstrom and our hands are firmly on the wheel.”
Putting up a brave front, Chidambaram said, “Just because one ally pulled out, the government has not become weak… There is no political instability or political uncertainty… Nobody has questioned our stability except for few voices in the media.”
Asked whether the government will test its stability by going in for confidence vote, he said, “The question does not arise as we have the majority.”
DMK made it clear that it has no intention to bring any no-confidence motion. (Hindustan Times)