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‘Desperation palpable’: Cong hits back at PM over Katchatheevu

Published:

NEW DELHI: Congress chief

Mallikarjun Kharge

on Sunday responded to Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

‘s recent comments regarding the

Katchatheevu

island issue, questioning why the PM did not attempt to reclaim the island during his 10-year tenure in power.
Kharge accused the PM of displaying his desperation by raising the “sensitive issue” ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

He also criticised the PM for giving what he called a “clean chit” to China following the

Galwan Valley tragedy

where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.
“You have suddenly woken up to the issues of

territorial integrity

and national security in your 10th year of misrule. Perhaps, elections are the trigger. Your desperation is palpable,” Kharge said in a tweet.

Kharge highlighted that the Katchatheevu island was handed over to Sri Lanka as part of a friendly agreement in 1974, similar to India’s gesture towards Bangladesh with the exchange of border enclaves.
He pointed out the inconsistency in Modi’s sudden focus on territorial integrity and national security after a decade in office, suggesting political motives behind these actions.
Quoting PM Modi’s own words from 2015 regarding the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, Kharge emphasized the importance of such agreements in fostering friendly relations between nations. He drew parallels between the Katchatheevu agreement and other historical initiatives taken by Indian leaders to maintain the country’s unity and territorial integrity.

“On the eve of elections in Tamil Nadu, you are rasing this sensitive issue, but your own Govt’s Attorney General, Mukul Rohtagi in 2014 told the following to the Supreme Court. ‘Katchatheevu went to Sri Lanka by an agreement in 1974… How can it be taken back today? If you want Katchatheevu back, you will have to go to war to get it back’,” said Kharge.
“Gandhi ji, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel ji, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi – all our beloved leaders lived and died for India’s unity, our territorial integrity. Sardar Patel played a vital role in uniting 600 princely states. In contrast, you, PM Modi, gave a Clean chit to China, after 20 bravehearts made supreme sacrifice in Galwan Valley,” he said.

Kharge also raised questions about the Modi government’s handling of foreign policy, particularly concerning neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. He criticized the government for what he described as foreign policy failures that led to Pakistan purchasing weapons from Russia, highlighting concerns about India’s strategic relationships in the region.
“What is not an “Eye opening and startling” is how you raised the belligerence levels of even otherwise friendly neighbours like Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives! It is first time in history, that Pakistan bought weapons from Russia, due to your foreign policy failure,” said Kharge.
“It was the Congress, that despite severe constraints, kept the issue of Tibet’s sovereignty alive, only to be summarily squandered by a predecessor PM of your party,” the Congress president added.
(With inputs from agencies)

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