Govt asserts it is not lame duck but SP keeps it guessing

New Delhi: Refusing to be on the back foot despite DMK's withdrawal, the government today 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.
A day after DMK gave a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee withdrawing support to UPA, the government fielded three senior ministers — P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath and Manish Tewari — before the media to insist that all was well and questioned DMK for changing its position within 24 hours even while its demands were in the process of being considered.
The UPA's second biggest constituent with 18 Lok Sabha MPs quit the alliance yesterday and its five representatives in the Council of Ministers submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today.
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.
Finance Minister 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."