New Delhi, 22 May-2014,Deepshikha Ghosh: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today described as “unfortunate” Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi’s move to invite Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa for his oath ceremony.
The invite to the Lankan president has “deeply upset the people of Tamil Nadu and wounded their sentiments,” Ms Jayalalithaa said.
“Particularly, with regard to the relationship of the new Central Government with the Government of Tamil Nadu, it would have been better if this ill-advised move had been avoided,” she added.
The Chief Minister’s silence since yesterday, when invites were sent out to world leaders for Monday’s ceremony had sparked speculation.
The BJP’s ally MDMK has said Mr Rajapaksa’s presence in the oath ceremoney will hurt the feelings of the Tamil people. The DMK, headed by M Karunanidhi, said Mr Modi could have “avoided” inviting the Sri Lankan President and also that the Prime Minister should “understand the feelings” of the people of Tamil Nadu. (BJP’s Tamil Nadu Ally MDMK Opposes Lankan President’s Presence at Modi Swearing-in)
But the chief minister, whose party, the AIADMK just swept the general elections in the state, had been silent till now. AIADMK sources said the party views it as a first faux pas by Mr Modi, who has won a big mandate to head a government at the Centre. (Narendra Modi Could Have Avoided Inviting Lankan President for Swearing-in: DMK)
Ms Jayalalithaa, who is said to share a good rapport with Mr Modi, has not clarified whether she will attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Mr Rajapaksa has confirmed he will attend.
While campaigning for the general elections, Mr Modi and Ms Jayalalithaa had attacked each other politically, but after each posted a spectacular win – Mr Modi nationally and Ms Jayalalithaa in her state – they exchanged warm greetings, congratulating each other.
In the past both have attended the other’s oath ceremonies as chief ministers.
Most political parties in Tamil Nadu allege that civilian casualties and human rights violations against Tamils peaked during the last leg of the war against the LTTE with Mr Rajapaksa in charge.
It is a very sensitive political issue in Tamil Nadu, where assembly elections are due in 2016.
Prakash Javadekar, senior BJP leader said, “Atalji had said you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your neighbours, Modi ji is following just that.” [ Source: PTI/IANS]