Katchatheevu: Nirmala Sitharaman asks DMK to stop disseminating 'falsehood'

04:35 PM Mar 31, 2024 | PTI |

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK should stop its ”misinformation” on the Katchatheevu issue.


On X, Sitharaman, referring to an RTI reply obtained from government authorities by Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai on the Katchatheevu issue, said: ”…What the RTI reply has revealed has been stated authoritatively by former CM Jayalalitha Amma in the TN state assembly itself.” Annamalai said on X that a leading English daily published on Sunday a story based on the information received by him through RTI. ”Congress & DMK colluded in the ceding of Katchatheevu by Sri Lanka. The Congress, whenever in power, had the least interest in securing our country’s border, territorial integrity & sovereignty,” he alleged on X.

Sitharaman tagged a video clip –posted by an ‘X’ handle– which showed late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s reply to DMK legislator K Ponmudy in the Assembly years ago. In the Assembly, Jayalalithaa had said (during 2011-16) that the DMK members had no locus standi to pose questions on Katchatheevu. It was during the DMK regime, when M Karunanidhi was Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Katchatheevu island was ceded to Sri Lanka by the Union government. ”What Karunanidhi was doing when the Centre concluded pacts in 1974 and 1976 to cede the island to Sri Lanka?” she had asked.

Jayalalithaa also had demanded to know if Karunanidhi had taken steps at that time to stall the Centre’s move or if he had staged a protest against the decision to give away the island to the neighbouring country. She was responding to DMK legislator Ponmudy, who said whether Jayalalithaa had spoken or not in 1991 that she would retrieve Katchatheevu. To that point, Jayalalithaa recalled her remark that she would take steps on the matter through the Central government. She did not say in 1991 that she would retrieve Katchatheevu by ”mobilising troops.” It is the DMK that is fully responsible for the travails of the fishermen, she had alleged.


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