New Delhi: Putting up a brave front, the Congress said on Wednesday that they were not a lameduck government and that they will carry on with business as usual.
The government fielded three senior ministers, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and Information Minister Manish Tiwari to address the press a day after their key ally, the DMK pulled out of the UPA government.
Begining the press conference in the national capital, P Chidambaram outlined the turn of events as they had happened leading to the DMK pulling out of the government at Centre.
Putting up a confident facade Chidambaram said, "We enjoy the majority and our hands are firmly on the wheel." "We will continue to push for legislation and all important bills will be passed. We will continue to take executive decision," he added.
On the issue of resolution against Sri Lanka he said, "We intend to move amendments to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC."
Chidambaram said that Tamil sentiments could be represented only through an
appropriate resolution in Parliament.
"Government denies that India is working wih US to dilute UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka," the Finance Minister said and described reports in this regard a canard.
"India's position is that UNHRC should adopt a strong resolution on Sri Lanka," he added.
Kamal Nath too stated categorically that the UPA goverment was stable. "The governemnt is neither lame duck nor unstable," he said. On being a minority goverment he said, "No political party has challenged the majority of the government till now."
On the matter of Parliament passing a resolution in the House on Sri Lanka Tamil issue Kamal Nath said, "It is important that if we have to pass a resolution then there should be some kind of consensus in the House."
He also said that the Congress party was not looking for new allies as of now. "However in a democracy, the door is always open," he opined.
On being asked that if there was a possibilty of an early General Elections, the Finance Minister dismissed the question saying that there was no basis for such speculation.
Chidambaram also said that talks were on with the DMK but he was not sure as to why their ally had changed their position from 18 to 19 March.
"We are not aware of the reasons why the DMK changed its position between the night of March 18 and the morning of March 19," Chidambaram said, while noting that DMK supremo M Karunanidhi had said the party would reconsider decision to withdraw support if Parliament adopts a resolution before the end of current sittings on March 22.
On the fate of economic reforms and other welfare measures, Chidambaram said, "We will contine to push for legislation. Just yesterday, the Cabinet clerared the Food Security Bill.
"The Bill will be introduced in Parliament and I am absolutely confident there will be enough support in Parliament to pass it," he said.
"As far as executive action is concerned, only this morning the Ministers approved disinvestment in Sail. So we are taking executive actions, we are pushing bills. I dont' see us any weaker today than what we were yesterday.
First Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 10:25