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Business News/ Politics / News/  Katchatheevu island row: PM Modi calls out DMK's ‘double standard’, says ‘…did nothing to safeguard TN’s interest'
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Katchatheevu island row: PM Modi calls out DMK's ‘double standard’, says ‘…did nothing to safeguard TN’s interest'

Katchatheevu island row: PM Modi slammed DMK for failing to protect Tamil Nadu's interests on Katchatheevu island. He highlighted DMK's alleged double standards and prioritization of their family's success over the well-being of the state's fishermen.

PM Modi calls out DMK's ‘double standard’, says ‘...did nothing to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests'Premium
PM Modi calls out DMK's ‘double standard’, says ‘...did nothing to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests'

Katchatheevu island row: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 April lashed out at MK Stalin-led DMK on the Katchatheevu island issue. The Prime Minister said that the party has done nothing to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests.

In a tweet on X, PM Modi wrote, “Rhetoric aside, DMK has done NOTHING to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests. New details emerging on #Katchatheevu have UNMASKED the DMK’s double standards totally."

Also Read: Where is Katchatheevu island and why is it at the centre of a BJP-Congress clash?

He added, "Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don’t care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular."

Also Read: Jaishankar says ‘6,184 fishermen, 1,175 vessels detained by Sri Lanka in 20 years’

The Prime Minister on Monday cited a report by Times of India which claimed that then chief minister M Karunanidhi had given his concurrence to the agreement despite his party the DMK's public posturing against the deal. The report also shared a statement by late DMK MP Era Sezhiyan who expressed anger at the India-Sri Lanka Maritime Agreement which was signed by the then Indira Gandhi government by which India relinquished its claim on Katchatheevu Island and called it "an unholy agreement." 

DMK MP Era Sezhiyan's 1974 statement on the India-Sri Lanka Maritime Agreement

When the then-foreign minister Swaran Singh moved to make a statement on the India-Sri Lanka Maritime Agreement, which was signed by the then-Indira Gandhi government, Sezhiyan said, “This agreement goes against the interests of the country since it amounts to pure surrender of our territory without going through any of the norms. This is an unholy and disgraceful act of statesmanship unworthy of any govt. Therefore, we do not want to associate ourselves with the statement that is going to be made by the Hon. Minister, and we want to disassociate ourselves by walking out of the House," as cited by the TOI report. It further stated that Sehiyan was not aware that Karunanidhi, the then chief minister, had approved the pact more than a month ago.

The media report is based on an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai to his queries on the 1974 agreement between India and Lanka when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.

All you need to know about Katchatheevu island

The 163-acre stretch is located in the Palk Strait between Rameswaram in India and Sri Lanka. 

Earlier, It was used by fishermen from both countries and was initially part of the Madras Presidency. 

Katchatheevu became part of Sri Lanka in 1974 after then prime minister Indira Gandhi signed the "Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime Agreement". 

The document pertained to historic waters between Sri Lanka and India in the Palk Strait and the Palk Bay.

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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 09:26 AM IST
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