Chidambaram cannot openly express his view, but he has a strong position on the issue, says a source

The clamour against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s participation in the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka reached a high-octane tone with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram expressing his reservation about his visit.

“While he is against the Prime Minister’s visit, he does not support the idea of a total boycott. As a senior Union Minister, he cannot openly express his view, but he has a strong position on the issue,” said a source close to the Finance Minister.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president B.S. Gnanadesikan also felt that the Prime Minister should stay away from CHOGM, taking into consideration the popular sentiments in Tamil Nadu and the Assembly resolution demanding a total boycott of the meeting.

“But political parties in Tamil Nadu should ponder the consequences of a complete boycott by the Indian government. Our stand, in no way, should alienate the Sri Lankan Tamils, who badly need India’s support,” said Mr Gnanadesikan.

DMK leader M. Karunanidhi has already warned that the Congress party would “reap a bitter harvest” if the high-level committee of the party decided in favour of Prime Minister of Indian representatives in CHOGM.

Recalling the Prime Minister’s letter to him that his participation in the CHOGM would be taken only after considering all relevant factors, including the sentiments of your party and the Tamil people, Mr Karunanidhi said leaders of all political parties and Tamils across the world had spoken against India’s participation.

“The Tamil Nadu Assembly also adopted a resolution in this regard,” he said.

Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan has been insisting that the venue of the CHOGM should be changed from Sri Lanka to some other country.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National