L A T E S T      N E W S

We intend to vote in favour of resolution against Lanka: PM

NEW DELHI: Amidst mounting pressure from ally DMK and other parties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said India was "inclined to" vote in favour of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN which meets "our objectives" with regard to the future of ethnic Tamils.

Responding to strong concerns of political parties, Singh told the Lok Sabha that India was yet to receive the final text of the draft resolution moved at the UN Human Rights Council.

"We are inclined to vote in favour of the resolution if the resolution will cover our objectives namely the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is based on equality, dignity, justice and self respect," he said.

He was replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to the joint sitting of Parliament.

His statement, which was received by thumping of desks including by DMK members, assumes significance as the key ally has said it would discuss the issue including the option of withdrawing from the UPA over it at the party's internal meeting on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said that Tamils in Sri Lanka have been accorded the highest priority by his government and it is in touch with the Sri Lankan government in this regard.

The Indian government has emphasised that there should be a "genuine process" of reconciliation to address the grievances of the ethnic Tamils and implement the recommendations of a report of a high-level committee placed before Parliament, he said.

For lasting peace, India has asked Sri Lankan government to stand by its commitment, to broaden the dialogue with political parties, including with the Tamil National Alliance to achieve forward looking and meaningful devolution of power, Singh said.

The Prime Minister said he hoped that the Sri Lankan government would realise the criticality of this issue.

"We will remain engaged with them on this issue," he said. — PTIBack



Mulayam rules out SP joining govt at the Centre

LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party, which provides outside support to the UPA government at the Centre, on Monday ruled out joining it, dismissing speculation that the party was warming up to the Congress. "We are not joining the government," SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told a press conference here shortly after the party joined the Trinamool Congress and its rival BSP in a walk out in the Lok Sabha during voting on an opposition-sponsored amendment to the President's address.

His remarks assume significance in the context of Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh's statement that the SP could join the government though the Congress would oppose the party in the Lok Sabha elections.

To repeated questions on whether the party would join the UPA government, he said "neither have we requested the Congress to include us in the government nor has it made such an offer so far."

When reporters pressed for a reply on whether it meant the party could consider such a move in future, he said, "I have said that the question does not arise. We are not joining the government."

Yadav, who was flanked by his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary, said, “Why would we join the UPA government now with only one year to go. Had we wanted to join, we would have joined it earlier."

Maintaining that his party was playing the role of opposition in Parliament, he said his party's support to the Congress was only on one issue, which is to keep communal forces out of power.

Asked about Trinamool Congress' relations with the Congress in the wake of trouble over the Railway Budget, Yadav said it was a matter between the two parties and he would not like to comment.

To a question on the formation of the Third Front, he said though leaders of many prominent parties participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister, no such plans were underway.

"The presence of leaders of prominent parties should not be considered as an attempt at formation of Third Front," he said.— IANS




Have patience: Gadkari to Yeddyurappa

MUMBAI: With his party's government in Karnataka in throes of a burgeoning crisis over BS Yeddyurappa's demand for his reinstatement as Chief Minister, BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Monday said no decision would be taken under pressure and asked him to have patience.

"The party will take an appropriate decision (on Yeddyurappa's demand) soon. But BJP will not take any decision under pressure," Gadkari told reporters in Mumbai.

The BJP president advised the Karnataka strongman to have patience and cooperate with the party.

"Yeddyurappa should have patience and should cooperate with the party which will take a decision in the matter soon," he said.

Gadkari said the party had indeed assured the rebellious leader that he would be reinstated if cleared of corruption charges by the court.

"Things got delayed due to elections and now we will take a decision," he said.

The party had forced Yeddyurappa to step down in July 2011 after he was indicted by the Lokyukta report on illegal mining that had kicked up a political storm in the state.

Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had sought to downplay the issue, saying it was not serious and would be resolved.

"Dialogues are on between the party and Yeddyurappa. I am also personally in touch with him, its purely an internal issue and will be resolved soon," Jaitley told reporters in Gandhinagar where he was to file his nomination for Rajya Sabha poll.

59 MLAs loyal to Yeddyurappa are lodged in a resort on Bangalore outskirts demanding that he be reappointed chief minister after the high court quashed the charges against him in the lokayukta report and also the reference made by the Governor to the lokayukta to file an FIR and investigate them. — PTIBack





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