Difficult for BJP to support PM’s CHOGM visit, says Tamil Nadu BJP chief

BJP 2    BJP today said it will be very difficult for it to support the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting if the Centre does not clearly spell out the agenda it will pursue in the conference.

Stating that the party national leadership had not yet taken a formal position on CHOGM participation, BJP National General Secretary and party in charge for Tamil Nadu, P Muralidhar Rao told reporters here that the Centre had not spelt out its agenda for the meet.

“You cannot simply attend one more conference, what is the benefit you are going to get for India by attending CHOGM? What exactly is it (government) going to do? All these things have not become clear,” he told reporters. Arguing that there is no national interest other than ‘Tamil Nadu interest’ on the CHOGM, he said, “Tamil Nadu people are also nationalists.If you have interest you have to spell it out, the Prime Minister going to Sri Lanka without answering these questions, the party cannot support. Raising Tamil Nadu’s concerns is not unjustified.”

Asked when his party would spell out its stance formally, Rao said,”before he (PM) leaves (for Colombo).” Recalling that Vajpayee had called off his visit to China when he was Foreign Minister, Rao said, “things develop in the last minute also.”
Emphasising that the party’s Tamil Nadu unit had already expressed its opposition to India’s participation in CHOGM, he said the ‘attitude’ of the Centre and Prime Minister was behind the demand for boycott. On Singh’s address at the diplomats conclave yesterday in Delhi, Rao said the Prime Minister had missed critical points. “Without tackling terrorism, without peace and stability, you cannot meet development objectives.”
Detailing the BJP’s campaign plan for the Lok Sabha polls, he said each of the 12,000 villages in Tamil Nadu will be covered by the party’s padyatra. Programmes have been drawn up to reach out to every section of the society including fishermen and farmers, he added. ( PTI)

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