Congress top brass including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday discussed the strategy ahead amid the controversy over India’s participation in the CHOGM summit in Sri Lanka next month, which has been opposed by Tamil Nadu parties.
The Congress Core Group meeting, which lasted for one and half hours, was also attended by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. Both are not members of the Core Group.
Scaling up pressure on the Centre, Tamil Nadu Assembly had last week passed a unanimous resolution demanding that India “completely” boycott Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka next month.
The resolution had demanded that Sri Lanka be temporarily suspended from the league of Commonwealth till the Tamils there were accorded equal status on par majority Sinhalese.
Describing as “extremely shocking and disappointing” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s reported remarks assuring his participation in the Commonwealth summit, DMK had also urged the Prime Minister a couple of days back to categorically announce India’s boycott of the 53-nation group’s meet.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that won the northen provincial election in Sri Lanka recently had decided to boycott the event. Parties in Tamil Nadu have been opposing India’s participation in the Commonwealth meet citing alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
The Core Group meeting is usually on Friday but it was advanced apparently as Khurshid is set to leave the country tonight for a foreign visit. The meeting also comes days after bomb explosions rocked BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna on Sunday evoking condemnation from the entire political class ahead of the next Lok Sabha election.