Stepping up attack against Congress-led UPA Government, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his hand shake with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Myanmar instead of a ‘stern’ message to stop the continuing arrests of Indian fishermen.
Raising the twin issues of arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen and the Sri Lankan Tamils’ plight at an election rally in this coastal town and calling the UPA Government “anti-Tamils”, the AIADMK chief said the Prime Minister had not responded to her letters seeking steps for release of the fishermen.
While her government had sought for release of fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails ahead of second round of fishermen level talks proposed in Colombo, the island navy had arrested several more with the aim of ‘sabotaging’ the parleys over fishing rights in Palk Strait, she charged.
A total of 148 fishermen had been arrested after the first round of talks held here on January 27, she said adding she had written to Singh seeking steps for their release.
However, India had neither condemned this act of Sri Lanka nor was there any effort to secure their release. Also, the Prime Minister did not respond to her letters, she said.
“Amidst this, pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shaking hands with Sri Lankan President (Mahinda) Rajapaksa during the recent BIMSTEC conference in Myanmar have appeared in media. What steps has the Indian Prime Minister taken for the release of the fishermen?” she asked.
“Instead of sternly conveying to (Rajapaksa) to stop arresting our fishermen since they are also Indians, the Prime Minister is shaking hands with him. Do we need such a Prime Minister? Do we need this kind of a Congress government? Should it not be overthrown? It should be. Will you do,” she asked the crowd which responded in the affirmative.
On the Sri Lankan tamils issue, she said the US and UK had had proposed a resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged rights violations. India which she said had a “moral responsibility” to move a separate resolution had not come forward to endorse the one proposed by them.
“I request you to overthrow this anti-Tamil Congress Government in this elections,” she said.