PM Modi Accuses Congress of Dividing India, Blames Indira Gandhi’s Govt for Ceding Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka

Modi's Remarks during Lok Sabha Debate Stir Controversy as He Attributes Partition and Island Transfer to Congress Era

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi [Photographer: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images]

In a fiery session at the Lok Sabha today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the Congress party, accusing it of being responsible for the partition of India and also asserting that the Indira Gandhi-led government had ceded the Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka in 1974.

The prime minister’s comments came during his response to a debate on a no-confidence motion, where he launched a scathing attack on the Congress, blaming the party for the historic partition of the nation. Modi’s statements took a surprising turn as he connected the partition issue to the controversial transfer of the Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka.

The Katchatheevu Island, located between the Indian state of Rameswaram and Sri Lanka, was traditionally used by fishermen from both countries. However, in 1974, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi accepted the island as Sri Lankan territory under the “Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime Agreement.”

“Katchatheevu is an island between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Somebody gave it to another country. It happened under the leadership of Indira Gandhi,” Prime Minister Modi asserted during the debate. He also alluded to the emotional aspect of the decision by questioning, “Wasn’t that part of Maa Bharati there?” This appeared to be a direct response to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks made during the previous day’s debate.

The prime minister further mentioned that he receives consistent requests from the DMK government in Tamil Nadu to reclaim Katchatheevu for India. The island’s transfer remains a contentious issue, with various political and regional groups advocating for its return to India’s control.

Modi’s remarks sparked a heated debate in the Lok Sabha, with Congress members strongly countering his assertions. The Congress party has yet to officially respond to the prime minister’s accusations.

The prime minister’s speech not only intensified the ongoing political debate but also rekindled discussions about historical decisions made during Indira Gandhi’s tenure. The assertion that the Katchatheevu Island’s transfer was orchestrated by the Congress-led government adds a new layer of complexity to India’s political discourse. As the Lok Sabha session continues, reactions from various political factions and regional leaders are expected to dominate the headlines in the coming days.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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