DMK pullout: History could turn full circle
New Delhi: With DMK's withdrawal of support to the UPA Tuesday, history could turn full circle 15 years after Congress pulled down the United Front coalition demanding withdrawal of DMK ministers from the government.
In November 1997, the coalition government of Prime Minister I K Gujral came tumbling down after seven months in office in the wake of the report of the Jain Commission that went into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Gujral's government collapsed and he resigned when Congress finally carried out a threat to withdraw its support because the Jain Commission report held the DMK, a key coalition partner, of coddling a Sri Lankan guerrilla group suspected of killing Gandhi in a suicide bombing.
The government fell after leaders of the 13-party United Front coalition rejected Congress' demand to oust the accused partner, the DMK, and its three representatives in Gujral's cabinet.
The interim report of the Commission headed by Justice M C Jain had concluded that the DMK was giving "tacit support" to the LTTE whose militants had assassinated Gandhi.
"The conclusion is irresistible that there was tacit support to the LTTE by M Karunanidhi and his government and law enforcement agencies," it had concluded.
That time Parliament had not conducted business for two weeks because angry Congress members had disrupted every session, calling for the government's ouster of the DMK.
"Remove DMK; save the country," they had chanted.
Gujral's departure marked the second time in 1997 when the then Congress chief Sitaram Kesri had engineered the ouster of a prime minister who led a United Front government.
The UF, a coalition of regional, centrist and communist parties came together in June 1996 to keep BJP out of power. In April that year, Gujral had replaced H D Deve Gowda, whom Kesri had said had taken Congress support for granted.