Sunday, August 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Singed over cow Bill, DMK says unity may not last

Tirunelveli, August 23
The DMK, which came under attack from the BJP yesterday for opposing the Bill to prevent cow slaughter, today said it could not say now that the unity shown by the NDA allies during voting on the no-confidence motion would continue for the next Lok Sabha polls.

DMK President M Karunanidhi told reporters here today that the DMK would not accept any deviation by the Centre from the national agenda for governance and the move to introduce anti-cow slaughter Bill was a deviation from the agenda.

Asked whether the Opposition front of the DMK, Congress and Left parties formed against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa would be converted into an electoral front, he said “On this also, I cannot say anything now.”

He also parried a question on the demand by Congress, CPI and CPM leaders that the DMK should quit the NDA, saying they had been demanding this but his party had not taken any decision on the matter.

Denying that the DMK had flouted the coalition dharma by joining hands with the Congress, as alleged by the BJP National Secretary L Ganesan, Mr Karunanidhi said if the DMK had joined hands with the Congress to agitate against the BJP, only then did it amount to flouting of coalition dharma.

“We, the Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, have joined hands to condemn the state government’s action of foisting of cases against opposition leaders. Where is the question of flouting the coalition dharma,” he asked.

Mr Karunanidhi said the DMK had been opposing the ban on cow slaughter for the past so many years. “It is one of the basics of the self-respect movement,” he said, adding that if the ban was brought about, the country would lose foreign exchange to the tune of over Rs 3000 crore, besides 15 lakh tannery workers would be rendered jobless.

If the ban on slaughter was contemplated, it should be against the slaughter of all animals, he said.

Asked whether his party would seek the Congress support against the ban on cow slaughter, he said “We will express our views. There is no need to seek support of others on this.” Even now most of the people in the country had the habit of eating beef, he said.

About the health of Union Minister Murasoli Maran, who is under treatment at a US hospital, Mr Karunanidhi said there was a little bit improvement, but not to his full satisfaction.

Expressing his dissatisfaction over the ‘inaction’ of the Centre on his various demands, he said he wrote two letters to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee demanding suo moto appearance of the Attorney-General in the Supreme Court, when it heard the Tamil Nadu Government employees dismissal case.

The AG, after the Supreme Court’s observation that the government employees had no right to go on strike, had stated that strike was a right of the government employees, Mr Karunanidhi said adding that “It causes pain to me to note that he had not made these submissions before the court.”

On Jayalalithaa’s charge that leaders were writing books to convert their black money into white and had not done anything constructive to the Tamil language, he said “The income derived from the sale of my latest book ‘Thelkappia Poonga’ is being used for the welfare of the DMK men and their family members.” — PTI 

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