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Foreign Secretary’s visit to Sri Lanka an eyewash: Gadkari

[Hindu, Monday, 31 January 2011 09:18 No Comment]

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Sunday dismissed as mere “eyewash” the visit of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Sri Lanka to take up the killing of fishermen, allegedly by the country’s navy.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that compared to the National Democratic Alliance regime, the present government had failed in its foreign policy, especially with regard to Sri Lanka.

It was because of the “wrong policies” the government was unable to protect the lives of as many as 500 Indian fishermen. He attributed the pathetic plight of fishermen to the alleged “inaction” on the part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government in the State and “the insensitive and casual attitude” of the Central government.

Asked whether his desire to solve the water problem in Tamil Nadu would extend to the Cauvery issue also, especially because his party was in power in Karnataka and was unwilling to release water to Tamil Nadu as per the award of the tribunal, he said such important issues should not be treated as “party politics”.

Mr. Gadkari asserted, “It is for the Supreme Court to decide and the Central government to act. Nobody can challenge the Supreme Court and its verdict is binding on every government”.

To a question on his party’s alliance in the coming elections to the State Assembly, he said, “We are ready to align with any party that is against the DMK and the Congress. However, it would be decided by State president Pon. Radhakrishnan in consultation with party’s State election in-charge Bangaru Laxman.”

Asked whether he endorsed his State president’s call for all parties to join hands to defeat the DMK, he replied in the affirmative and said the Tamil Nadu government was the “most corrupt”. “A change in the government would be in the interest of the nation .” On his party’s demand for Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into 2G spectrum allocation issue, he said, “We stick to it. However, it would be decided by the Leader of the Opposition (whether to continue the demand in the Lok Sabha).”

Mr. Gadkari said that he would not like to take the remarks of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi “seriously” because they were at variance with that of the avowed stand of the United Progressive Alliance government. For instance, when Mr. Gandhi said he would like to see the names of those who had stashed away funds abroad, the Union Finance Minister said it was not in the interest of the nation to disclose the names.

[Full Coverage]

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