PUDUCHERRRY: The Union Territory of Puducherry has not been invited by the BJP-led Central Government to participate in the official level talks on the fishermen issue between India and Sri Lanka, which began in New Delhi on Friday.
While Tamil Nadu Fisheries Secretary S Vijaykumar and Fisheries Commissioner Beela Rajesh took part in the talks deliberated between the External Affairs and Fisheries officials of India and Sri Lanka, to put forth issues pertaining to fishermen of Tamil Nadu, there was none to represent Puducherry to take up the woes of the Karaikal fishermen.
Puducherry Congress party spokesperson A V Veeragavan said that the Modi government had failed to give Puducherry its due importance by not inviting it for talks of importance .
With fishermen from Karaikal region being attacked and captured by Lanka in mid-sea, issues pertaining to their rights and safety should have been put forth in the meeting.
This was the second time the UT had been ignored, said Veeraragavan, who demanded a reply from Chief Minister N Rangasamy on the stand of the AINRC, an ally of the BJP.
He also blamed the party’s Lok Sabha member R Radhakrishnan for not taking any initiative to take up the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure representation of Puducherry in the talks.
Veeragavan also demanded a reply from the local unit of BJP which had been criticising former Union Minister of State V Narayanasamy for not playing his role duly for the people of Puducherry.
National Fishworkers Federation (NFF) Chairperson M Ilango, also an ex-MLA from Puducherry, said that the Centre was treating the issue as one between fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
Even during the first round of talks, fishermen representatives and officials from Puducherry had not been invited.
After writing several letters to the Ministry of External Affairs, Puducherry was included in the second round of talks, said Ilango. “But now they have again omitted Puducherry, which is not correct,” he added.