Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who has opposed participation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Sunday kept up the suspense over her participation in the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in New Delhi on Sunday amid reports that she may boycott it.
Till late in the evening there was no official statement from the government or the ruling AIADMK on either her participation or whether she would depute any representative.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Kerala CM Oommen Chandy also had invitations to attend the ceremony, but have decided not to attend the programme.
Andhra Pradesh is presently under President's rule, after Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned over the bifurcation of the state.
Last week, Ms. Jayalalithaa dubbed as “unfortunate” the Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s invitation to Mr. Rajapaksa for his swearing-in, saying the “ill-advised” move could have been avoided as it amounted to “rubbing salt into the wounds of the already deeply injured Tamil psyche.” She had recalled the various resolutions passed in the state Assembly demanding an economic embargo on Sri Lanka among others over the alleged war crimes by the island nation’s Army under the Rajapaksa Government against Tamils there during the final stages of “civil war”.
Ms. Jayalalithaa and Mr. Modi had attended the swearing-in of each other as Chief Minister in the past.
Though the two leaders attacked each other during the final stages of the Lok Sabha poll campaign, they exchanged pleasantries over their respective emphatic wins last week, in a sign of warming up.
But the invitation to Mr. Rajapaksa has put a question mark over Ms. Jayalalithaa’s presence at the swearing-in as sharing the platform with the Lankan leader would be difficult as all parties in the state hold him responsible for alleged war crimes against Tamils in the island nation in 2009.
Besides the AIADMK, DMK president M. Karunanidhi also opposed the invite to Mr. Rajapaksa. BJP’s allies MDMK, led by Mr. Vaiko, PMK and DMDK led by actor-politician Vijaykant have also opposed the invitation to Mr. Rajapaksa.
Mr. Vaiko has announced a black-flag demonstration in New Delhi and Chennai against Mr. Rajapaksa on Monday.