A week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, the government is still divided on the level of participation and now the top Congress leadership is expected to take a call on Friday on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should travel to Sri Lanka to attend the event.
Though the cabinet committee on political affairs discussed the issue on Thursday, the decision has been left to the Congress Core Group, headed by Sonia Gandhi, sources said.
The Congress party had earlier said the party would back the Prime Minister’s decision on whether to attend the meet or not in Colombo from November 15 to 17. The core group meeting also comes in the wake of some Union ministers and Tamil parties opposing Prime Minister attending the meet. The government is in a spot over the issue with some sections feeling that the Prime Minister’s absence at the CHOGM could affect India’s image internationally and New Delhi would also miss a chance to push for the cause of Tamil population there.
The issue was discussed last month by the core group and Union ministers P Chidambaram and AK Antony are learnt to have suggested that the PM should not attend the meet.
Union ministers V Narayanasamy, Jayanthi Natarajan and GK Vasan have publicly opposed the Prime Minister’s participation in the summit. Political parties and various outfits in Tamil Nadu are strongly opposed to India’s participation in CHOGM and Tamil Nadu Assembly had recently adopted a resolution demanding New Delhi completely boycott it.