Karunanidhi says he never threatened to quit UPA (Fourth Lead)May 30th, 2012 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai/New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) DMK president M. Karunanidhi Wednesday threatened to pull out of the UPA government over the hike in petrol prices but later did a quick u-turn.
Shortly after he made the threat while leading protests against rising prices, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister told reporters that he had not threatened to quit the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
“I never said anything like that,” Karunanidhi clarified, adding that his party would continue in the UPA and would not like to put any pressure on the central government ahead of presidential polls.
While alliance leader Congress downplayed the incident, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the DMK to join hands with it in protest against the petrol price hike.
Speaking at the DMK office in Chennai, Karunanidhi said he would never leave the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was looking into the issue of fuel prices.
“The prime minister has promised action,” he said.
His clarification came after the media began speculating the future of the UPA government if the DMK were to pull out.
“We will stay with them (UPA) only till it is possible. If it is not possible, we will go our separate way and stress our policies,” the DMK patriarch said to a loud applause from a crowd of party ctivists earlier.
He said it was not just the opposition parties but also the DMK and other UPA constituents that have asked the central government to roll back the petrol price hike.
“Even Defence Minister A.K. Antony has (made the demand),” he noted.
The DMK leader said it was going to be a race between the central government and the AIADMK government at the state on who would pay heed to the plight of the common man and reduce petrol prices.
The Congress downplayed the DMK’s flip-flop and said there is no threat to the alliance.
“DMK is a respectable alliance partner. We will talk to them if there is any difference. There is no threat to the alliance,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
The BJP, however, invited the DMK to join its May 31 nation-wide shutdown against the petrol price hike.
“If the DMK is against the petrol price hike, I will invite them to come and join us on May 31,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari said.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said it was just a threat and the DMK could not dissociate from the government decision while being in the alliance.
“DMK is a partner in ruling alliance and is now trying to dissociate from what the government has done. Unless they pull out from the government, nothing can be said… this is just a threat,” Raja said.
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