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Business News/ Politics / News/  After Sri Lankan island row, BJP leader claims Jawaharlal Nehru 'gifted' Andamans' Coco Islands to Myanmar
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After Sri Lankan island row, BJP leader claims Jawaharlal Nehru 'gifted' Andamans' Coco Islands to Myanmar

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP's Andaman and Nicobar Islands candidate Bishnu Pada Ray has criticised the Congress and India's first prime minister for allegedly ‘gifting’ a part of northern Andamans — the Coco Islands to Myanmar.

File image of India's first Prime Minister, freedom fighter and Congress leader Jawaharlal NehruPremium
File image of India's first Prime Minister, freedom fighter and Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Bishnu Pada Ray, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Andaman and Nicobar Islands has claimed that India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, "gifted" the Coco Islands, a part of northern Andaman Islands to Myanmar.

Ray, who is the BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from the region also criticised the Congress for its allegedly "historical anti-India stance", in an interview with ANI on April 14.

Nehru's Alleged Gift to Myanmar

Ray claimed that Nehru had reportedly given the Coco Islands to Myanmar as a gift, the publication reported.

"The Congress has always harboured anti-India sentiments. Nehru gifted the Coco Islands, which were part of the Northern Andaman Islands, to Myanmar, which is currently under China's direct control. They did not worry about the islands in the 70 years they were in power. Today, the central government is constructing a shipyard, and two defence airports to counter China in Campbell Bay, which is also known as Indira Point," the BJP candidate said.

Comparing Defence Investments

Ray also called out the Congress for its defence spending, claiming that the current government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has allocated substantial funds, unlike the previous Congress government.

"No Congress leader ever bothered to visit this island cluster, but Modi-ji made regular visits here. I am hopeful that you will soon see a Congress-mukt Andaman. This time, their candidates will lose their deposits here. Kuldeep Rai Sharma, the sitting MP, did not spend a penny for the development of the islands," he stated.

Incumbent MP and Past Elections

Currently, Kuldeep Rai Sharma of the Congress represents the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Lok Sabha. In the 2019 general elections, Sharma defeated Vishal Jolly of the BJP.

Polling for the sole Lok Sabha seat in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is scheduled for April 19, marking the commencement of the electoral process.

Katchatheevu Island Row with Sri Lanka

Earlier this month, PM Modi slammed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Congress over the Katchatheevu Island row, saying the ruling alliance parties of Tamil Nadu have done nothing to safeguard the state’s interests.

Katchatheevu, a tiny island between India and Sri Lanka in the Palk Strait, has resurfaced as a political flashpoint in Tamil Nadu, where the BJP is trying to make inroads ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections.

The island, a disputed area, was ceded to Sri Lanka by the Congress government headed by late PM Indira Gandhi, through an agreement in 1974. But, led by PM Modi, the BJP has launched a scathing attack on the Opposition Congress and the DMK for "callously" giving away the strategic island to Sri Lanka.

The PM dug into a report that said the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, had given consent to the agreement, despite the DMK's public posturing against the deal.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 08:35 AM IST
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