His appeal to Manmohan Singh to stay away from CHOGM in Sri Lanka has raised doubts
At a time when the Congress party in Tamil Nadu has no plausible explanation with regard to the UPA government at the Center vis-à-vis its policy on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan’s strong views have overshadowed every political leader in the State.
While all political parties in the State are highly critical of the Centre’s position, Vasan’s open call for keeping in abeyance the military pact between India and Sri Lanka to supply warships to the latter and his appeal to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stay away from CHOGM in Sri Lanka has raised doubts whether he is drifting apart from the Congress.
“We cannot stop Sri Lanka from holding the CHOGM. But Dr. Singh should keep away from the conference. I have taken up the issue with him. I will meet him again to press my view,” he said.
He also reiterates that all pacts between the two countries can be put on hold till a final solution to the attack and arrest of Tamil Nadu’s fishermen is found.
He adds that he is only echoing the views of the people in Tamil Nadu.
However sources close to the Minister dismiss the speculation that he has plans to revive the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), founded by his father G.K. Moopanar.
They also deny the suggestion that by way of posturing, he is seeking to raise his stakes within the party during the next Lok Sabha polls. “He is raising the genuine concern of the Tamil people and the Congressmen, who fear a backlash in the Lok Sabha polls against the party. Congress leaders in Delhi have no idea of the likely impact to be generated by the Sri Lankan Tamils issue in the elections and the victory of the TNA in the Northern Province has sent a strong message to Indian government,” said a leader close to Mr Vasan.
Another Union Minister Sudarsana Natchiappan has also raised many an eyebrow by saying that Sri Lanka belonged to Tamils and they should first get hold of their land.
Describing Sri Lanka as a “holy land”, he said the land was important for the Tamils just as it was for Israel and Palestine.