Much of Sri Lanka’s evident joy about BJP leader Narendra Modi’s massive victory seems related to Tamil Nadu’s “reduced” role in national politics henceforth.
Referring to Tamil Nadu’s perceived interference in India’s policy with the island, Sri Lankan Media and Inforamation Minsiter and Cabinet spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella on Monday expressed happiness over the BJP winning a majority in Parliament. Sri Lanka, has for long, believed that Tamil Nadu politicians were dictating India’s diplomacy with Sri Lanka and the BJP’s massive mandate is being read in that context.
Asked what his government thought of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Jayalalithaa’s huge victory in Tamil Nadu and her possible intervention in New Delhi, he said: “Even if the honourable Ms. Jayalalithaa had got all 39 seats in her State, it is less significant now.”
‘Charismatic leader’ The interaction between the two countries, he said, would henceforth be “Mahinda-Modi” rather than “Mahinda-Modi, Jayalalithaa or Karunanidhi.” “Modi is a charismatic leader, he would want cordial relations with all parties, including those in Tamil Nadu. This is only the beginning, let us see.”
Likening Prime Minister-designate Mr. Modi to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Rambukwella said both leaders were very strong and straightforward. “Even in the thinking pattern of both leaders, there is some similarity.”
Minister Rambukwella is not the first to make this now oft-heard ‘Modi-Mahinda’ comparison. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa — the President’s brother — said “Asia has produced another Rajapaksa and doer.”