Jaya joins issue with TN CM over Katchatheevu

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Chennai, Jul 24 (UNI) AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today joined issue with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi over 'conceding' to Sri Lanka's the right over Katchatheevu and power crisis in the state.

Reacting to Mr Karunanidhi's poser on what she was doing during her two tenures as Chief Minister after promising to get back Katchatheevu, Ms Jayalalithaa, in a statement here, said Mr Karunanidhi, having remained silent when the Centre signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to give the island, had no right to question her.

She said Mr Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister in Tamil Nadu when the Centre signed the agreement with Sri Lanka in 1974, conceding its right over Katchatheevu to the island nation.

If he was genuinely interested in protecting the interest of the Indian fishermen, he should have expressed his strong protest against giving the island to Sri Lanka, she said.

Had Mr Karunanidhi prevented the Centre from handing over Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka, the fishermen would not be facing problems now, she claimed.

On the other hand, after she had declared in her Independence Day speech that she would get back the island, she had made repeated efforts by writing to the Prime Minister on the issue.

She had even suggested to the Prime Minister during one of her meetings that India should take Katchatheevu on ''lease in perpetuity,'' Ms Jayalalithaa claimed.

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