Rajiv presented his bullet proof jacket to Prabhakaran:Alphonse

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Chennai, Nov 12 (UNI) Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had presented his bullet proof jacket to LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran after the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement, only to be assassinated by that outfit later, Congress whip Peter Alphonse revealed in the state assembly today.

Participating in the debate on the Political Resolution moved by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, calling for ceasefire in Lanka, Mr Alphonse, quoting late leader G K Moopanar, Mr Alphonse disclosed in the House that after the Indo-Sri Lanka accord was signed in 1987, Mr Gandhi gave a warm embrace to LTTE leader Prabakaran and wished him all the best, after presenting his bullet proof jacket.

He said the Congress had made a big sacrifice for Tamils in Lanka and no political party had the moral right to point an accusing finger against the party.

He said it was wrongly projected by some political parties that the Congress was against the Tamils in Lanka, but it was late leaders Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who took up the issue to the international fora, in a bid to find a solution to the crisis.

The demand for the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lanka accord, singed between Rajiv Gandhi and the then Lankan President J R Jayawardane was still being pressed for. But it was for the same accord the Congress had to pay a heavy price, Mr Alphonse said.

He said the LTTE had dismissed the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi as a ''tragic incident'', but it was a huge loss for the Congress party.

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