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'Irresponsible statements aimed at political mileage': Moily slams govt over Katchatheevu issue

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday slammed the Centre over the Katchatheevu island issue, saying its "irresponsible and reckless" statements were aimed at gaining political mileage during the elections and the electorate will recognise such "ulterior motives".

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Hitting back at the Centre over the issue, opposition leaders on Monday cited a 2015 RTI reply, which stated that agreements in 1974 and 1976 did not involve either acquiring or ceding territory belonging to India, and asked whether the "change" in the Narendra Modi government's stance is for "election politics".

In a statement, former Union minister Moily said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar should have cautiously perused the documents before blaming former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

"We should not forget the fact that Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed their lives to protect the integrity and sovereignty of India. Such irresponsible and reckless statements just to gain political mileage during elections will not augur well and the electorate will recognise such ulterior motives particularly when Tamil Nadu has always turned out to be a 'zero' for BJP," he said.

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There is always a question mark against the present NDA regime that the highest number of 6,184 fishermen were imprisoned by the Sri Lanka government during the last 10 years, he claimed.

Moily alleged that Prime Minister Modi has failed to provide Indian and Tamil Nadu fishermen the necessary security and protection, while giving such "irresponsible" statements only as a ploy to create confusion among the electorate during the elections.

Prime Minister Modi and Jaishankar owe an apology to the nation for maligning the name of Nehru and Gandhi, he said.

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Moily also cited the 2015 RTI reply to press his argument.

Jaishankar claimed on Monday that the former prime ministers of the Congress displayed indifference to the Katchatheevu island and gave away the Indian fishermen's rights despite legal views to the contrary.

Jaishankar's remarks at a press conference were made a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited a media report to assert that new facts reveal that the Congress "callously" gave away the island to Sri Lanka. PTI ASK ASK KVK KVK

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