Jayalalitha flays Karunanidhi over Katchatheevu

Published: 18th July 2013 08:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2013 08:56 PM   |  A+A-


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday described as "opportunistic" DMK president M. Karunanidhi's petition in the Supreme Court against the transfer of Katchatheevu island from India to Sri Lanka.

In a statement, Jayalalithaa said the DMK petition had been filed because Karunanidhi feared a favourable verdict in the apex court in a case filed by her against the island's transfer.

The apex court Monday issued notice to the central government on a petition by Karunanidhi seeking the reclaiming of the Katchatheevu, whose control India ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974.

Katchatheevu is located in the narrow sea dividing the two countries. The sea near the islet is said to be rich in marine life, leading to frequent clashes between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen.

Jayalalithaa cited the apex court's favourable verdict in a case filed by her ordering the central government to notify the Cauvery Tribunal's final award in the official gazette.

Jayalalithaa accused Karunanidhi of doing nothing in 1974 as the Tamil Nadu chief minister when the island was transferred to Sri Lanka.

In 1960, the apex court held that land belonging to India could be ceded to another country only with the approval of parliament and with a constitutional amendment, she said.

According to her, Karunanidhi could have exerted pressure on the United Progressive Alliance government to file an affidavit in the apex court in favour of Tamil Nadu when the DMK was propping up the government.

Jayalalithaa said she has been taking steps to retrieve Katchatheevu since 1991 when she became the chief minister for the first time.

The Tamil Nadu assembly passed a resolution to this effect in 1991. In 2013, the assembly passed another resolution urging the central government to revoke the Katchatheevu transfer agreement.


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