Bowing to the pressures of competitive local politics, Union shipping minister GK Vasan became the first Congress leader from Tamil Nadu to demand the shift of CHOGM (Commonwealth heads of government meeting) out of Colombo.
"The Sri Lankan government should shift the meeting. And if it fails, the nations that voted in favour of the US resolution in the UNHCR should take the necessary steps," Vasan said.
The AIADMK and the DMK have already made the demand. On Thursday, the state assembly even passed a resolution urging the Centre to declare Sri Lanka as an unfriendly nation and seek UN sanctions against it. But external affairs minister Salman Khurshid has rejected the demands.
Vasan made it clear that he was speaking as a representative of the state.
"I am a cabinet minister, but I am from Tamil Nadu. I am reflecting the opinion of the people. This is not just my opinion, but the majority of the Congress members in the state," he said.
His stand came in for praise from DMK chief M Karunanidhi.
"If this is the view of the party, it will be appreciated," Karunanidhi said.