April 16, 2024


Chennai:

 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President MK Stalin slammed the BJP for raising the Katchatheevu issue ahead of the the Lok Sabha polls and said that the issue has started to backfire now.

Criticising PM Modi, Mr Stalin further questioned that why did PM did not ever spoke to Sri Lanka government to return back Katchatheevu Island.

“How much time PM Narendra Modi has gone to Sri Lanka in the last 10 years? Has he asked Sri Lanka government to give back Katchatheevu Island even once. When he met Sri Lankan president did he tell that Katchatheevu Island belongs to India. At that time Katchatheevu is not remembered by PM Modi,” Mr Stalin said.

He asked PM Modi that he remembers that Katchatheevu took place during Nehru and Indira Gandhi period, but does he remember an event that happened before two years?

“PM Modi, in May 26, 2022 came to Chennai at Nehru Indoor stadium and participated in a event. In that event I requested and asked him to release GST fund, give exemption for NEET exam (to Tamil Nadu).

My first request was to retrieve Katchatheevu Island which is the rights of our fisherman. Does he remember it? Has he atleast read the request memorandum,” CM Stalin said.

CM Stalin further stated that in 2015, S Jaishankar then foreign secretary had said that Katchatheevu was never a part of India and now since election has arrived as per their wish the statement is changed, he added.

“For many years when ever questions were raised in parliament on Katchatheevu Island issue, no proper answer was given. Many initiated RTI application to get data on Katchatheevu island, but no clarification was given. The BJP government which said the issue related case is in Supreme Court and didn’t give information on it but now how it has given information through RTI,” he hit out at BJP.

He alleged that PM Modi was suddenly shedding crocodile tears for Katchatheevu Island. “In the last 10 years PM Modi never spoke about shoot out incident against Tamil fisherman and arrest of fisherman by Sri Lankan Navy, has PM Modi condemned Sri Lanka ever?” he asked.

Further coming down heavily on PM, Mr Stalin said that Modi ji never has never spoken on encroachment by China.

“China is claiming many places in Arunachal Pradesh. More than 30 places have been named in Chinese language. What are you going to tell on it? You don’t have guts to oppose China. In such situation do you have the right to speak on Katchatheevu?,” he asserted.

The development comes as PM Modi on Tuesday hit out at the Congress party, accusing it of “dividing the country into pieces” during its 60 year-long regime.

“There was an island under the sea in Tamil Nadu, but the Congress gave it to Sri Lanka and now when our fishermen venture into that area by mistake, they are arrested. Can this Congress ever protect our land when it gave our Katchatheevu to another country,” the PM said.

Coming down heavily on Congress, he further said that the party has given poll ticket to its leader who asked to divide the country into north and south regions, instead of punishing him.

“Congress could not develop the border villages of the country and termed the last villages, but the BJP called those villages the first ones and developed them. If the Congress government had remained in power till date, our former soldiers would have not got ‘one rank one pension’,” the prime minister alleged.

PM Modi on Monday also targeted the DMK for mishandling the Katchatheevu island issue and alleged the ruling party of Tamil Nadu did nothing to safeguard the state’s interests.

New details emerging on the issue of India handing over the Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka have unmasked the DMK’s double standards totally, PM Modi posted on X, citing a news report that said that then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had given his concurrence to the agreement despite his party’s public posturing against the deal.

“Rhetoric aside, DMK has done NOTHING to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests. New details emerging on #Katchatheevu have UNMASKED the DMK’s double standards totally. Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don’t care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular,” PM Modi tweeted.

The media report is based on an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai to his queries on the 1974 agreement between India and Lanka when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.
The election for 543 Lok Sabha seats in the country will be held in seven phases starting April 19. Nearly 97 crore voters are eligible to cast votes in the general election. All 39 seats in Tamil Nadu will vote in a single phase on April 19 and the counting of votes will be held on June 4.

Tamil Nadu ranks fifth in terms of Lok Sabha seats, with 39 seats, including 32 unreserved seats and seven reserved for SC candidates. In the 2019 elections, the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance secured an overwhelming victory, winning 38 out of 39 seats.

In 2019, DMK won 23 Lok Sabha seats with a 33.2 per cent vote share, Congress bagged 8 seats with a 12.9 per cent vote and CPI won two seats in Tamil Nadu.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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