Hitting back at his arch rival, AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa for her criticism of him over the Katchatheevu issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Sunday said she had done little to retrieve the islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India though she ruled the state twice.
In a letter to party cadre, the DMK leader also recalled that he had moved a motion in the Assembly in 1974, when the islet was ceded to Sri Lanka by India by way of a bi-lateral agreement, calling for efforts to review the pact.
“However, the Opposition AIADMK did not support the motion and staged a walkout in the Assembly,” Karunanidhi said.
Jayalalithaa had yesterday criticised him for not taking efforts to retrieve the islet despite being in the UPA for last five years.
The Centre had made a “sudden announcement” on ceding Katchatheevu, Karunanidhi said adding he had immediately convened an all-party meeting and wrote to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi expressing Tamil Nadu’s disappointment.“
He also recalled Jayallalithaa’s letter as Chief Minister to then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee in 2003 where she had said the island should be “leased in perpetuity” so as to enable Indian fishermen enjoy fishing rights and at the same time ensure Sri Lanka’s “sovereignity over Katchatheevu would be upheld.”
He said the AIADMK MLAs had not responded to his plea two days back seeking cooperation from them to pass an unanimous resolution on retrieving Katchatheevu in the Assembly and “this showed their intention of only opposing the ruling DMK,” he said.