Stalin slams BJP for 'somersault' on Katchatheevu, dubs RTI disclosure 'wrong information'

10:08 AM Apr 03, 2024 | PTI |

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has said that the BJP has done a ”somersault” on the Katchatheevu issue since the Lok Sabha polls are round the corner.


Stalin claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not have the guts to neither condemn Sri Lanka over fishermen arrests nor oppose China on its claims over Arunachal Pradesh. When that is the case, how can he talk about Katchatheevu, he said.

In an election rally here on Tuesday, the president of the ruling DMK hit out at Modi for staging a ”drama” and coming up with ”stories” on the Katchatheevu issue and dubbed the disclosures by the Centre on the matter under the RTI Act as ”wrong information.”

He asked how the government had given ”wrong information” concerning the nation’s security under the RTI Act to an individual belonging to the BJP (Tamil Nadu state chief K Annamalai). The BJP government had earlier failed to provide answers on Katchatheevu by stating that the subject was subjudice as the matter was pending before the Supreme Court. The BJP regime in 2015 said that Katchatheevu had never been a part of India. That information was provided by S Jaishankar, the then foreign secretary, Staling claimed.

”Since the elections are round the corner, they have changed the information as per their wish. Why this somersault? Has PM Modi, during his 10-year tenure, who is now talking on Katchatheevu, ever condemned Sri Lanka over the arrest of fishermen and the instances of firing against them? Why did he not do that,” Stalin said, during his speech at the rally.


The DMK chief also questioned why Modi has not spoken on China, which is claiming that Arunachal Pradesh is its territory. ”There is no courage to censure Sri Lanka. There is no courage to oppose China. How can you talk about Katchatheevu,” he said.

The BJP, which came to power in 2014 submitted in the Supreme Court that war with Sri Lanka was the only option to have Katchatheevu back, Stalin said.

He demanded to know if PM Modi, during his visit to Sri Lanka, had sought the return of Katchatheevu and if he conveyed to the neighbouring country that the island belonged to India. Modi did not remember Katchatheevu during his foreign visit, Stalin alleged.

Stalin also said that on May 26, 2022, during the Prime Minister’s visit to Chennai for an event, he had sought retrieval of Katchatheevu to uphold the traditional fishing rights of fishermen. ”Do you remember that,” he said, slamming Modi for staging a drama and cooking up stories on the Katchatheevu issue.

Stalin wondered how the Centre furnished information on such an important matter to the petitioner in ”four working days” from the receipt of application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

For many years, there were no appropriate answers in Parliament whenever questions were raised on Katchatheevu and though several persons had sought information under RTI, clear information was not provided, he said.


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