Row over invite to Rajapaksa for Modi's swearing-in

  • KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: May 25, 2014 13:09 IST

DMK president M Karunanidhi and BJP ally and PMK chief S Ramadoss too joined the chorus of protests against the invitation to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend PM-designate Narendra Modi’s swearing-in coronation. Earlier Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had also opposed the move to invite Rajapaksa.

Karunanidhi said on Friday that the Modi gover nment should review its decision and withdraw its invite to Sri Lankan president.

“Just like the previous Congress governments, the BJP too is ignoring Tamil sentiments,” he said in a statement.

The issue was first raised by BJP ally Vaiko of MDMK who asked Modi to withdraw the invitation as it would mean insulting Tamil sentiments. Soon it was picked up by other Tamil Nadu parties. Vaiko is understood to have conveyed his protest to Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh and to Modi.

The Sri Lankan’s president’s move to get along with the Tamil-dominated northern province chief minister Vighneshwaran has not cut much ice with Tamil Nadu political parties.

S Ramadoss’ son Anbumani Ramadoss, elected from Dharmapuri constituency and is widely expected to join Modi’s council of ministers, too hit out against the move and wanted the invite to be withdrawn.

The PMK was maintaining a studied silence over the issue but could not keep quiet for long, given the clamour of other parties against the move of the government to be.

Local BJP leaders continue to defend the Modi move saying that there was nothing wrong in calling neighbours to the swearing in ceremony as it only shows India’s goodwill and intent.

But, Tamil Nadu political parties are one in their vociferous protest saying that Rajapaksa should not be allowed to set foot in India. In fact he should be tried for genocide and other war crimes, is the common sentiment among the Tamil Nadu political parties.

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