DMK will not rock the Govt: Karunanidhi

Chennai: In a flip-flop, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today made a veiled threat of pulling out of the UPA government but shortly later made it clear that his party would not rock the government in view of the Presidential election.

Addressing a meeting here to protest the steep increase in petrol prices, he lashed out at the Centre and said when his party`s principles were trampled upon during earlier alliances, he had not hesitated to walk out of the coalition, whether it be the VP Singh cabinet or the BJP-led NDA.

"We have never hesitated to raise voice of opposition whenever the basic principles were hurt and if we cannot solve it by being an ally, we have not hesitated to come out and uphold those principles," he said.

"The DMK is in the coalition. But (being in) alliance is different. It is our duty to voice concern against policies that will affect the people," he told the meeting which was also called to protest hike in power tariff and prices of milk and bus fares announced by the Jayalalithaa government.

With the veiled threat causing political ripples, the 88-year-old leader later resorted to damage control, saying he had not said his party will walk out but had only recalled it had been forced to walk out following clash of policies while being an ally of BJP-led NDA or in the VP Singh government in the past.

"It is the time of Presidential polls. So we will not create a crisis for the government. We will remain in the alliance with bitterness," he said.

Karunanidhi, whose veiled warning came at a protest against the petrol price hike, said immediately thereafter he had been informed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was looking into the issue and was hopeful of getting good news.

"The present government at the Centre will take note of our suggestions and respects such dissent," he said.

Asked if his party would walk out of the UPA if there was no rollback, Karunanidhi said he cannot answer that but said "then the coming government will be regressive with communal forces taking over."

Asked specifically whether today`s protest was against the Centre on the petrol price hike, he said, "It is not against the Centre but was against the hike."

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