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Inviting Pakistan, why not Lanka: DMDK

Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa has threatened to boycott the function.

Written by Gopu Mohan | Chennai | Published: May 25, 2014 2:18 am

Caught in a bind over the invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, the BJP Saturday received support from its biggest Tamil ally, the DMDK.

Competing for space in a state where the plight of Lankan Tamils still has resonance, the DMDK founder and Opposition leader in the Assembly, Vijayakanth, initially asked Modi to reconsider the decision, but later did a U-turn.

“The invitation was extended not only to the Sri Lankan president but to the heads of all eight SAARC countries. All the countries, including the enemy State of the whole of India, Pakistan, are taking part in the ceremony. If President Rajapaksa were the one only guest, we would certainly have boycotted it,” Vijayakanth said.

He said when he met Modi the last time, the PM-designate assured him he would solve the Lankan Tamils issue and address problems of fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

He added that just like the AIADMK had been given six months before criticism was raised against the government, the Modi administration, too, should be given the same time period.

Vijayakanth’s party does not have a single member in either House, but his support, which comes after three days of silence, is more political than numerical since several NDA allies have opposed the invitation to Rajapaksa.

Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa has threatened to boycott the function and warned this could affect the relationship between the Centre and the state. DMK president M Karunanidhi has also demanded that the invitation be recalled.

At a time when the Lankan president’s presence is being questioned by even the Congress, Vijayakanth has taken a calculated political risk by backing Modi.

Since the national party has a limited electoral presence in Tamil Nadu, it needs a personality who can attract votes, at least during initial election cycles.

In return, Vijayakanth can hope to gain from the traction he enjoys with the Centre to position himself as a viable alternative to the AIADMK and DMK. The next Assembly election is less than two years away, and if his party hopes to capitalise on DMK’s struggles, it needs the extra-push a friendly PM could provide.

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  1. r
    May 25, 2014 at 11:44 am
    You should submit the formula you used to Frances Harrison and/or to Ch 4.
    1. I
      May 25, 2014 at 6:57 am
      We all know that Jayalalitha is arrogant to the core. But attributing political naivety to her is too high . But it seems that the recent utterances of her is borne out of frustration . She has imagined a king maker's role in a new government whether it is UPA or NDA. But Modi being an astute politician has outmaneuvered her. She did not even have the courtesy of phoning directly to Modi to congratulate, instead shot of letter. What jayalalitha think! We cannot wish away our neighbors. Jayalalitha attending or not attending the swearing in ceremony make any difference to Modi and BJP . The looser is she herself
      1. R
        May 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm
        The irony of all this is, Vaiko, Karunanidi and other Tamilnadu leaders as well as TNA in Sri Lanka, who supported the LTTE, did not condemn the LTTE for killing Tamil opponents of LTTE, kidnapping Tamil children to fight for them, using Tamil women and children for 'suicide' bombings and finally ending up with over 300,000 Tamil hostages, herded around like cattle for a human shield and slave labour for LTTE. It was President Raakse who rescued these Tamil hostages as well as regain peace for the entire nation, free from Tiger terrorists in May 2009. Really it is President Raakse who could object to the presence of these LTTE supporters like Vaiko and the TNA who did not care two hoots for the Tamil civilians when they suffered under Prabakaran's tyranny.
        1. Gandhi Thangarajoo
          May 25, 2014 at 5:55 am
          it is easier to solve problems with a friend than an enemy.
          1. K
            May 25, 2014 at 5:26 am
            What about Rajanikanth who is invited by Modi to the function? What is this threat by Tamilnadu? RAjanikanth also against the state now if he attends. In fact in Andhra Pawan kalyan canved for Modi for which some effect is there and BJP gained.
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