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Chennai Exclusive India National News Politics Top Headlines

CHOGM: Special session of Tamil Nadu assembly today

Chennai, Nov 12 (): CHOGM will be the agenda of the special session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly that will be held here on Tuesday evening.

Pro-Tamil outfits and trade bodies are observing a bandh today. In the backdrop of the UPA government’s decision to send External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid  to the forthcoming CHOGM meet in Sri Lanka, despite the united demand of all political parties in the State to totally boycott the conference, the State Assembly Secretariat has said the session will be convened at 6 p.m. but did not mention the agenda.

Sources said Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will move a resolution expressing the resentment of the House on the UPA government’s participation in CHOGM.

Tamil Nadu Assembly on October 24 unanimously adopted a resolution asking the Centre to totally boycott CHOGM and said not even a token representation of India should be there at the conference. The resolution said India should initiate
steps to suspend Lanka from the Commonwealth of Nations till it ensures equal rights for Tamils on par with Sinhalese.

After much pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided not to attend the meeting and send instead a Khurshid-led delegation to CHOGM. He also wrote a regret letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This sparked another round of protests in Tamil Nadu, with a call for a State bandh by 21 pro-Eelam outfits and traders’ body and rail roko by MDMK and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi today.

The Chief Minister has already expressed her resentment over the Centre’s inaction on the resolutions adopted in connection with the Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue since her government assumed power in May 2011.

Pro-Eelam outfits and major trade unions said that trains would be the target and key leaders like MDMK general secretary Vaiko  would block the trains at the Madurai railway station andManithaneya Makkal Katchi would block the trains at Tambaram.

The pro-Tamil outfits termed the non-participation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a ‘drama’ to fool Tamil people and opposed the participation of Salman Kurshid in CHOGM.

The bandh call was given by the Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai chief T Velliayan and it was supported by several outfits like Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MNMK), MDMK, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Tamilaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK), trade unions AITUC, INL, and May 17 Movement.

They have earlier appealed to AIADMK government to support the bandh so as to send a strong message to the Centre. The PMK and CPI too had opposed the decision of the Centre to send a delegation to CHOGM.

DMK , who initially said that not even one official should go from India to attend CHOGM has not extended support to the bandh so far. The DMk chief has expressed his satisfaction on UPA’s decision and Khurshid’s visit as a debatable topic.