Congress Callously Have Away Katchatheevu to Lanka: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led a BJP charge against the Congress for “callously” giving away Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974, slamming it as yet another “anti-national” act of the party for which the country is still paying the price.

With the issue having a resonance in Tamil Nadu, whose fishermen often bear the brunt of Lankan action against their alleged intrusion into its waters, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge hit back asking why the government did not act to take back the island in its 10 years in power and termed Modi’s attack as ‘poll-eve desperation’. “Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi ji, You have suddenly woken up to the issues of territorial integrity and national security in your 10th year of misrule. Perhaps, elections are the trigger. Your desperation is palpable,” Kharge said in a post on X.

Modi seized on a media report - based on a reply Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai received on the decision of the then Indira Gandhi government in 1974 to hand over the territory in Palk Strait to the neighbouring country - to target the Congress, an ally of the state’s ruling DMK.

“Eye-opening and startling! New facts reveal how Congress callously gave away Katchatheevu. This has angered every Indian and reaffirmed in people’s minds - we can’t ever trust Congress. Weakening India’s unity, integrity and interests has been Congress’ way of working for 75 years and counting,” he said on X, sharing the report.

Union home minister Amit Shah also took to X, “Slow claps for Congress! They willingly gave up Katchatheevu and had no regrets about it either. Sometimes an MP of the Congress speaks about dividing the nation and sometimes they denigrate Indian culture and traditions. They only want to divide or break our nation.”

Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK should stop its “misinformation” on the Katchatheevu issue. “...What they reply has revealed has been stated authoritatively by former chief minister Jayalalithaa Amma in the TN state Assembly itself,” she said on X.

Responding to the allegations, DMK organisation secretary R.S. Bharathi said the Prime Minister has “no achievements” to showcase and charged that he was only spreading “lies.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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