MK Stalin Raises Questions Over The RTI Reply On Katchatheevu

TN CM Raises Questions On BJP Raking Up Katchatheevu

Turning the tables on the BJP for using a reply given for an RTI application on the ceding of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in 1974 to target the DMK and the Congress, Chief Minister M K Stalin wondered as to how the details were made available in just four working days on an issue of such great import by the government that had been refusing to reveal the facts for a long time citing sub judice as the reason.

Addressing an election meeting at Vellore on Tuesday to introduce DMK candidates Jagathrakshan, contesting from Arakkonam constituency, and Kathir Anand from Vellore, Stalin said that though one could not expect justice, honesty and integrity from a government that was heading towards dictatorship, it was important for the people to realize it and vote for the INDIA coalition candidates.

On the Katchatheevu controversy that the BJP was trying to blow out of proportion, Stalin had some questions directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is now lamenting the handing over of the islet by Indira Gandhi in league with M Karunanidhi. One of the questions was as to what he was doing in the last 10 years to retrieve the islet from Sri Lanka.

Another question referred to the BJP government, with the present External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as foreign secretary, declaring that Katchatheevu was never part of Indian territory in 2015, and another on the stalling of questions in Parliament saying that the matter was in court and also not providing information under the RTI Act.

Recalling the placing of a charter of demands before Modi when he attended an event held at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on May 26, 2022, Stalin said that the first demand was on the retrieval of Katchatheevu while the others were on GST dues, abolition of NEET and others. He wondered if the Prime Minister ever went through the memorandum or did anything to address those issues.

Raising a straight question to Modi as to how many times he had told the Sri Lankan President that Katchatheevu belonged to India and in how many occasions during his frequent visits to the island nation had he raised the issue at all. He said Modi, who never remembered Katchatheevu while hobnobbing with Sri Lankan leaders and diplomats, remembered only what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi did long time ago

Accusing Modi of trying to gain political mileage by coming up with lies as he had no achievements to showcase to the people while seeking their votes, he said that by stirring the hornet’s nest on the Katchatheevu, his lies had been exposed. His government had stated in 2014 that the islet could be retrieved from Sri Lanka by only waging war but now he was trying to present a picture as though it was the Congress and DMK that gave it off.

It was Modi’s inability to protect Indian territory from the Chinese in Arunachal Pradesh that had made him now speak about Katchatheevu, over which his government did not provide any information to the Supreme Court but had now obliged an RTI query of a private individual, he said.

Attacking the AIADMK mainly for helping in the passing of the CAA, which it now claimed to oppose, Stalin referred to AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami’s statement that he could not stand up against Modi because his party was in the opposition and asked as to how he was seeking the people’s vote now after bringing in the laws against the people when he was in power.

Apart from the AIADMK, the PMK was also with the BJP in passing the CAA in 2019 when FIRs were filed against the political leaders in the State, including him, who protested against the legislation just to please the leaders of the BJP, he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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