DMK spreading false propaganda on Katchatheevu, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday accused the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu of spreading a false campaign on the Katchatheevu islet, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, and for making “irresponsible” statements on the issue.

Then DMK president and TN Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was aware of the ruling Congress’ move but did not object, she said.

The Congress, which failed to come to power in Tamil Nadu after 1967, owes an explanation to the nation for the loss of the territory which former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi described as a tiny mass of rock, she said.

Sitharaman claimed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had described Katchatheevu as a “nuisance.”

“Let them set right the lies they have been saying for half a century,” Sitharaman told reporters after an interaction at the Viksit Bharat Ambassador campus dialogue programme here.

Ahead of the April 19 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, the Katchatheevu issue has taken centre stage in the state, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress and DMK over the ceding of the tiny island.
Both Congress and its ally DMK have hit back at the BJP for raking up the issue ahead of polls.