Govt in a fix; now Karuna against CHOGM

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa had passed a resolution to stop PM from visiting CHOGM, yet Congress thinking of sending PM as participation is must.

After Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, DMK president M. Karunanidhi has threatened the central government of consequences if took part in 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka Nov 15-17.

Although external affairs minister Salman Khurshid’s name has been doing rounds for participation in the summit, Karunanidhi said the Congress would face consequences if prime minister Manmohan Singh participates in the summit.

Responding to a query on reports about Congress permitting Manmohan Singh to attend the CHOGM, he said: “Going by the reports, it seems the prime minister is likely to attend the summit despite strong objections from political parties in Tamil Nadu.”

Karunanidhi said there should not even be a token of participation by India at the CHOGM to register protest over the alleged war crimes against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, Muslim party Manithaneya Makkal Katchi has appealed to Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to call for a day’s general strike to condemn the Congress decision to allow Manmohan Singh to attend CHOGM.

It should be noted that Jayalaithaa has passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu assembly to stop any “titular, ministerial or official” person from participating in the summit.  CHOM has said that India will be “isolated” if it does not take part in the summit.

Caving in to the demands of regional heads will lead to horrid consequences in terms of India’s foreign policy.

First, foreign policy will be seen hostage to regional pressures. Second, to foster deeper economic ties with Mahinda Rajpakshe, it is imminent that we take part in the summit. Last, but not the least, Kamlesh Sharma, an Indian mandarin heads the Commonwealth Secretariat. Last year, PM Singh personally endorsed a four-year extension for him. A Prime Ministerial cancellation will embarrass Sharma and the nation.

However, the regional equations for the upcoming 2014 elections may lead Congress to take drastic decisions. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how central government handles the pressure.

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