Hitting back at chief minister Jayalalithaa for criticising him over the contentious Katchatheevu issue, DMK president M Karunanidhi recalled his erstwhile government's efforts over it and charged her with virtually supporting a move to cede the islet.
"During the recent discussion in the assembly on a resolution proposed by Jayalalithaa, seeking to implead the revenue department in a case filed by her on retrieving Katchatheevu, she and other opposition members spoke as if the Centre ceded it at the behest of DMK," he said.
Writing in the party mouthpiece Murasoli, he said Jayalalithaa and others had also charged him with being responsible for the 'destruction' of Tamil Nadu and the Cauvery issue, which itself showed the resolution was moved with an aim of targeting him.
Katchatheevu, ceded to Sri Lanka by India through an agreement in 1974, was done despite DMK's opposition, he said in his counter to Jayalalithaa that the then DMK government did not oppose it, despite being kept in the know.
Stating that DMK had never shied away from demanding its retrieval, he recalled having assured the Assembly in 2009 he was ready to move a resolution that the party never supported ceding of Katchatheevu.
"We had pressed for fishermen's rights on the islet, including drying catch and the nets (which was there in the agreement). But they were withdrawn in the Emergency," he said adding DMK had been striving hard to include those rights again since then. It had even staged a walkout in Parliament on this matter, he added.
He pointed out that Jayalalithaa had in a letter to then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao in 1992, said the islet was ceded "in the interest of bilateral relations".