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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

P. Chidambaram Takes a Dig at S. Jaishankar’s Transformation from Diplomat to BJP Mouthpiece

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New Delhi : Responding sharply to remarks made by Dr. S. Jaishankar regarding the Katchatheevu island dispute, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram questioned why the foreign minister is now changing his stance on the issue. Chidambaram remarked on Jaishankar’s journey from being a “suave liberal foreign service officer” to becoming a “mouthpiece of the RSS-BJP,” suggesting that this transformation will be noted in history as a feat of acrobatics.

Chidambaram’s response came after Jaishankar reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accusations against the Congress regarding the island dispute.

Jaishankar referred to past discussions in Parliament, stating that the Nehru and Indira Gandhi governments had shown indifference towards the island. He mentioned that Nehru considered Katchatheevu a “nuisance” and it was during Indira Gandhi’s tenure that India relinquished fishing rights near the island.

The Katchatheevu issue gained attention following a media report based on an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP chief K. Annamalai. Jaishankar emphasized that the matter has been ongoing and criticized the Congress and DMK for their handling of it.

The recurrent arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka have become a significant concern, especially as elections approach. The BJP aims to highlight this issue to improve its standing in the southern state. Modi accused the Congress of irresponsibly giving away the island to Sri Lanka, and criticized the DMK for failing to protect Tamil Nadu’s interests.

Chidambaram, using a platform known as X (formerly Twitter), pointed out the historical context of fishermen detentions and criticized Jaishankar’s recent stance against the Congress and DMK. He questioned why Jaishankar had shifted his position and referenced an RTI reply from 2015 to support his argument.

Additionally, Chidambaram criticized Jaishankar’s personal transformation from a diplomat to a mouthpiece of the BJP-RSS, suggesting that his political journey will be remembered as acrobatic.

He also mentioned the agreement between India and Sri Lanka, which facilitated Tamil refugees’ settlement in India. Chidambaram questioned why Indira Gandhi acknowledged Sri Lanka’s ownership of the island, highlighting the plight of Tamil refugees and their resettlement in India.

The DMK also criticized the BJP’s handling of the issue, suggesting that it’s a tactic to divert attention from other pressing matters.

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