IUML in dilemma over DMK exit

With the DMK withdrawing its support to the UPA, the Indian Union Muslim League headed by Union minister of state for external affairs E. Ahamed is in the horns of a dilemma. A “natural ally” of the DMK for a long time, the IUML has been fielding its candidates on the DMK symbol in Tamil Nadu and its lone Member of Parliament from the state, Abdul Rahman, has been listed as a DMK member in the Lok Sabha. Mr Ahamed, without mentioning the stand of this member, issued a press release terming the withdrawal of the DMK a “very sad” decision and urged Mr Karunanidhi to “reconsider” it.
“As a long-standing ally, DMK should not take a stand to weaken the UPA government, when the country is passing through such a critical juncture, in the country’s long term interests, “ Mr Ahamed said, urging Mr Karunanidhi to “reconsider his stand and to continue his support (to the UPA) to strengthen secular and democratic fabric of our country.”
Mr Ahamed said his party fully supported Mr Karunanidhi’s deepest sympathies for the sufferings of the Sri Lankan Tamils. He said the UPA was always prepared to support the DMK’s stand to the maximum extent possible.
The minister, who often represents India in the United Nations Security Council and the UN General Assembly, however, said it was difficult for the government to support DMK’s stand in toto as the issue may have long term international ramifications for India. “It has to be in conformity with India’s long standing traditional position on such matters in international relations,” he said.
Though not a powerful force in TN, IUML was a crucial bridging factor between the Congress and the DMK when relations between the two were on the verge of collapse over seat-sharing during the last TN Assembly elections. The IUML had then claimed that it had given away its seat to DMK “out of generosity.”
Even though IUML, the biggest ally of the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala, clearly stands with the UPA on the issue, Lok Sabha sources said its MP Abdul Rahman could be disqualified as per rules if he were to violate the DMK’s whip. IUML’s present national general secretary K.M. Kader Mohideen had also served as a Member of Parliament on the DMK symbol during the last Lok Sabha term. Though IUML does not have any member in the present TN Assembly, its only two members in the last Assembly were also elected on the DMK symbol.

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