NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday urged the people of Tamil Nadu to "punish the AIADMK-BJP alliance" in the upcoming state assembly elections for "betraying" Tamils after India abstained from the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka.
He termed the development as "gross betrayal of the Tamil people" and demanded the resignation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
"India abstained from voting on the Resolution on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council.
This is a gross betrayal of the Tamil people and their unanimous sentiment and desire," Chidambaram said on Twitter.
"The people of Tamil Nadu must and will punish the AIADMK-BJP alliance for this grievous blow to the interests of the Tamils," he said in another tweet.
Demanding the resignation of the external affairs minister, the former Union minister said, "If S Jaishankar was forced to instruct India's representative to abstain from voting on the Sri Lanka Resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, he should resign in protest against the betrayal of Tamil interests."
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had adopted a resolution against Sri Lanka's rights record, which gives the UN body a mandate to collect evidence of crimes committed during the country's brutal civil war (2008-09) against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
India had abstained from voting, saying its approach to the question of human rights in Sri Lanka is guided by two fundamental considerations.
One is support to Lankan Tamils for equality, justice, dignity and peace and the other is ensuring the unity, stability and territorial integrity of that nation, it said.
It also urged Colombo to fulfil its commitments on the devolution of political authority, to carry forward the process of reconciliation and address the aspirations of the Tamil community in the island nation.