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Issue of Indian sovereignty over Katchatheevu has to be revisited, says BJP

Sunday, 6 July 2014 - 9:52pm IST | Place: Chennai | Agency: PTI

Virtually endorsing the ruling AIADMK's demand for retrieval of Katchatheevu, BJP today said the issue of Indian sovereignty over the islet, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, has to be revisited.

"The issue of Indian sovereignty over Katchatheevu has to be revisited," BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, who is in-charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu, told reporters here when asked about his party's stance on the matter.

An affidavit in the Madras High Court by the Centre recently said the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka was a "settled issue." It was opposed by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and all other all political parties in the state.

Stating that BJP had felt that the issue was not handled properly, he appealed to the Centre to look into the affidavit.

"The BJP is fully committed to protect the interests of fishermen," he said, adding, Katchatheevu could not be considered as an isolated matter and said it was part of a larger issue concerning the interests of fishermen.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had recently urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct officials to file a revised affidavit reflecting the concerns of Tamil Nadu in the case.

She had also referred to a memorandum she presented to him on June 3 in Delhi on the issue of retrieving India's sovereignty over Katchatheevu.

On the economy front, the BJP leader slammed former Union Minister P Chidambaram for "messing up" with the economy and said the party looked forward to "bold steps to ignite hope".

Earlier, a meeting of state, district office bearers was held in which it was decided to expand and intensify party work in Tamil Nadu, he added. 


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