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'Katchatheevu unmasked DMK...' PM Modi says Congress and DMK harmed 'interests of poor fishermen'

PM Modi pointed new revelations regarding Katchatheevu, exposing what he called the DMK's double standards. He further alleged that the Congress and DMK prioritize their own kin's advancement, neglecting the welfare of others.

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First Published Apr 1, 2024, 9:03 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took aim at the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regarding the Katchatheevu island matter, accusing the Tamil Nadu ruling party of neglecting the state's interests. Referring to recent revelations on the island's handover to Sri Lanka, PM Modi highlighted the DMK's alleged hypocrisy, citing a news report that claimed former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had approved the agreement despite the party's public opposition.

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These revelations, based on an RTI response obtained by Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai regarding the 1974 agreement between India and Sri Lanka during Indira Gandhi's tenure, underscore the DMK's inconsistencies, according to Modi.

"Despite their rhetoric, the DMK has failed to protect Tamil Nadu's interests. Recent developments regarding Katchatheevu have exposed the DMK's double standards," Modi remarked.

He also criticized the Congress and DMK, likening them to family-centric entities more concerned with promoting their own kin than the welfare of others. Modi emphasized that their indifference to the Katchatheevu issue has adversely affected the state's fishermen and fisherwomen.

The prime minister had previously targeted the Congress on the same matter, condemning the party's historical approach of undermining India's unity, integrity, and interests for over 75 years.

On Sunday, PM Modi strongly criticized the Congress party for its decision to "give away" the Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka. Pointing to a report derived from an RTI response, he accused the Congress of irresponsibly handing over Katchatheevu, a move that has left many Indians infuriated and reinforced doubts about placing trust in the Congress.

Katchatheevu was under Indian jurisdiction until 1974, and lies a mere 25 kilometers off the coast of Tamil Nadu.

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Katchatheevu island serves as a fishing ground for the fishermen from Tamil Nadu, particularly those from districts like Rameshwaram, owing to the depletion of fish in Indian waters. Despite this necessity, fishermen face detainment by the Sri Lankan Navy when they cross the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) to access the island.

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