Home INDIA “They Simply Didn’t Care”: S Jaishankar Slams Congress Over Katchatheevu Island

“They Simply Didn’t Care”: S Jaishankar Slams Congress Over Katchatheevu Island

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New Delhi:

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accusation against the Opposition over the Katchatheevu Island row, stating that the country’s first Prime Minister wanted to give away the island to Sri Lanka.

The issue relates to the year 1974, when the then Indira Gandhi government had accepted that the island was a Sri Lankan territory under the India-Sri Lanka Maritime Agreement.

The issue has resurfaced following a media report based on an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai on the 1974 pact.

Prime Minister Modi yesterday shared a statement by late DMK MP Era Sezhiyan in which he expressed his anger over the maritime agreement between India and Sri Lanka signed by the then Indira Gandhi government under which India relinquished its claim over Katchatheevu Island and called it “an unholy agreement.”

Speaking at a press conference in the national capital, S. Jaishankar said, “Today it is important for the public to know and for the people to judge: this issue has been hidden from the public’s gaze for too long.”

“…We’re talking 1958 and 1960…The key people in the business wanted to make sure we at least got the fishing rights…The island was given away in 1974 and the fishing rights were given away in 1976 … One, the most fundamental recurring (aspect) is the indifference shown by the then Central Government and the Prime Ministers towards the territory of India…

“The fact is, they just didn’t care…,” Jaishankar said at his press conference.

“In a comment made by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in May 1961, he wrote: ‘I attach no importance to this small island at all and I would not hesitate to give up our claim on it. I do not like this kind of thing. It will remain indefinitely time and is brought up again and again in parliament.’ So for Pandit Nehru this was a small island, it had no importance, he saw it as a nuisance… For him, the sooner you give it away the better… This view also passed on to Indira Gandhi…” , the minister added.

He put Congress in the dock for completely ignoring Indian concerns on the island.

“The Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) is said to have remarked at the AICC meeting that this is a small rock. I am reminded of the days when Pandit Nehru called our northern border a place where not a blade of grass grew. I would like to remind them that after this historic statement by Prime Minister Nehru, he never regained the confidence of the country. The same would happen to the Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) if she says this is just a small rock and nothing can be done about it. worrying about the areas of our country.’… So this is not just one Prime Minister… This dismissive attitude… was the historic attitude of the Congress towards Katchatheevu…’ Mr Jaishankar said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WhatsNew2Day staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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