The petition in the Supreme Court by DMK president M. Karunanidhi challenging the maritime boundary agreement that ceded Kachatheevu to Sri Lanka was an opportunistic move to garner political mileage, AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Thursday.
Recalling her efforts to retrieve Kachatheevu in the interest of Tamil Nadu fishermen, the Chief Minister accused Mr. Karunanidhi of not acting in time either to stall the ceding of the islet or getting the transfer nullified by the Supreme Court. On the contrary, she was instrumental in getting resolutions passed in the State Assembly, besides filing petitions in the Supreme Court and writing to the Prime Minister, to protect the interests of fishermen.
It was during Mr. Karunanidhi’s tenure as Chief Minister in 1974 that Kachatheevu was transferred to Sri Lanka by the then Congress government at the Centre, she said. Had he approached the Supreme Court then seeking to nullify the agreement, the islet could have come back to India as it was against the spirit of the judgement delivered in the Berubari case. The State government, headed by the DMK, did not implead itself in the petition filed by her in 2008 against the ceding of Kachatheevu, she said and accused Mr. Karunanidhi of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu on the issue.