‘Is Jaishankar disowning MEA’s 2015 RTI reply?’ asks Jairam Ramesh over Katchatheevu row – World News Network

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New Delhi [India], April 1 (ANI): Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, citing Ministry of External Affairs’ reply to RTI query on the issue back in 2015.
The Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications on Monday asked if the “EAM” Jaishankar is disowning the reply given by MEA in 2015 when Jaishankar was serving as the ‘Foreign Secretary’.
“Is Dr. S Jaishankar, now Minister of External Affairs, disowning the reply given by the Ministry of External Affairs on January 27th, 2015, when the same Dr. Jaishankar was Foreign Secretary?” he asked on social media platform X.
Citing the 2015 reply, Ramesh said that the agreement did not involve “either acquiring or ceding of territory”, adding that the island of Katchatheevu lies on the Sri Lankan side of the India-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line.
“The MEA’s response to a RTI query on Katchatheevu in 2015 had said “This [Agreement] did not involve either acquiring or ceding of territory belonging to India since the area in question had never been demarcated. Under the Agreements, the Island of Katchatheevu lies on the Sri Lankan side of the India-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line.”” Jairam Ramesh said.
“The easiest to hunt in a political expedition is a scapegoat. Who will it be?” he added.
https://x.com/Jairam_Ramesh/status/1774776050695954814?s=20
The decades-old territorial and fishing rights dispute around Katchatheevu Island is in the limelight ahead of polling in Tamil Nadu for Lok Sabha polls on April 19 with the BJP and the opposition engaged in a war of words over the issue.
PM Modi on Monday targeted Congress party and DMK over the Katchatheevu island issue. He said that Congress “callously” gave away the island. He also alleged the ruling party of Tamil Nadu did “nothing” to safeguard the state’s interests.
“Eye opening and startling! New facts reveal how Congress callously gave away #Katchatheevu. This has angered every Indian and reaffirmed in people’s minds- we can’t ever trust Congress! Weakening India’s unity, integrity and interests has been Congress’ way of working for 75 years and counting,” PM Modi said in a post on X on Sunday referring to a media report.
“Rhetoric aside, DMK has done NOTHING to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests. New details emerging on #Katchatheevu have UNMASKED the DMK’s double standards totally. Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don’t care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular,” PM Modi said in another post on Monday.
The media report is based on an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai to his queries on the 1974 agreement between India and Lanka when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.
Doubling down on PM Modi’s charge at Opposition over the Katchatheevu island row, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today alleged that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did not give importance to the island territory.
“This is an observation by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in May of 1961. He says, he writes, I attach no importance at all to this little island and I would have no hesitation in giving up our claim to it. I do not like matters like this pending. Indefinitely and being raised again and again in parliament. So to Pandit Nehru, this was a little island. It had no importance. He saw it as a nuisance,” Jaishankar said at a press conference on Monday.
The island, located between Rameswaram in India and Sri Lanka, was traditionally used by both Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen.
In 1974, the then central government accepted Katchatheevu as Sri Lankan territory under the “Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime Agreement.” (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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