Vaiko's MDMK exits BJP-led NDA

Chennai: The MDMK party led by Vaiko Monday announced its decision to quit the BJP-led alliance to protest against the government's stand on Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu's water row with Kerala and Karnataka.

A high level committee of the Tamil Nadu-based party passed a resolution to this effect at a meeting here.

The MDMK said that when it joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the party made it clear that the BJP-led government should not support Sri Lanka and its President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

But Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government had gone against the earlier promise and started supporting the Rajapaksa government, it said.

The MDMK, which has no member in parliament, also found fault with the central government's language policy, saying it was trying to impose Hindi and pursuing "Sanskritisation".

Similarly, the party said the central government was betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu over the Mullaperiyar dam row with Kerala and on the sharing of Cauvery river water with Karnataka.

Vaiko's party complained that the central government had also failed to help the fishing community in Tamil Nadu vis-a-vis attacks and arrests by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Although the MDMK's exit will in no way affect the central government, it becomes the first party to quit the BJP-led alliance since Modi took power in May this year.

As long-standing supporter of the vanquished Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Vaiko had recently criticised Modi for warming up to President Rajapaksa.

On Nov 26, the MDMK took a leading part in celebrating the 60th birth anniversary of the slain Tamil Tigers leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, all over Tamil Nadu.

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