'Koi rahta nahi hai toh...': PM Modi on Digvijaya Singh's Katchatheevu comment | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

'Koi rahta nahi hai toh...': PM Modi on Digvijaya Singh's Katchatheevu comment

Apr 11, 2024 05:34 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Congress can give away Rajasthan's uninhabited land as well claiming that no one lives here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday touched upon the Katchatheevu issue as he addressed a rally in Rajasthan and reacted to senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's 'does anyone live on Katchatheevu' statement. Without naming Digvijaya Singh, Narendra Modi said, "Rahta nahi hai toh de deni hai kya? Phir ye registan ko tum kya kahoge kal. Yahi kahoge ki koi rahta hai kya? (If no one lives there, does that mean you will give that away? A Congress leader yesterday asked whether anyone lives there. Then what will you say about this desert? That whether anyone stays here?) Is this the way to serve the country? This is their mentality. An uninhabited space in the country is just a piece of land to them. They can give away Rajasthan's place like that," Modi said. The Katchatheevu issue has gained significance as just ahead of the elections, the BJP claimed citing RTI documents that the island was ceded to Sri Lanka by the Congress government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajasthan raised the Katchatheevu issue and criticised Digvijaya Singh's comment on the issue.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajasthan raised the Katchatheevu issue and criticised Digvijaya Singh's comment on the issue.(PTI)

Amid the row over this island, Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday stirred controversy as he asked whether anyone lived on that island dismissing the issue. Several BJP leaders criticised Digvijaya's comment and said it was the same mentality out of which Nehru called Aksai Chin 'barren land'.

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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi harped on the Katchatheevu row, he also explained why he spoke of Article 370 in Rajasthan. "Send this video to Congress leaders as I explain the connection between Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir. Go to those villages of martyrs in Rajasthan who gave their lives for J&K. And you ask me what is the connection? Their thought process has become so narrow that they ask the land of Rana Pratap its connection with Kashmir. If they do this in opposition, imagine what they can do with India's security if they come to power," PM Modi said.

What Congress said on Katchatheevu

As Katchatheevu has snowballed into an election issue, especially in Tamil Nadu where the BJP is aiming at massive gains, the Congress said BJP's claims were baseless and they only tried to make an agenda. Congress leader P Chidambaram said the BJP government earlier was of the opinion that the Katchatheevu island fell on the Sri Lankan side of the International Maritime Border Line and it was neither acquired nor ceded. “If he (Modi) was so passionate about Katchatheevu, what did he do for the last 9 years? How many times has he visited Sri Lanka? How many times has the Prime Minister or President of Sri Lanka visited India? How many times has Mr Jaishankar gone to Sri Lanka? The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, in a memorandum, raised the issue of Katchatheevu with the PM at a gathering in Nehru Stadium, Chennai. Why did the PM not reply?” Chidambaram said.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar said DMK was involved in giving away the island to Sri Lanka. "The talks were happening behind closed doors, an agreement happened and the then DMK chief minister agreed to it...The people should know that there are parties who say something in Parliament and decide something else behind closed doors...," Jaishankar said.

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