Senior BJP leader and chairman of the party’s national strategic committee, Subramanian Swamy, on Tuesday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear the air over his controversial statement to a local TV channel that it was he who had advised Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa not to release the boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen while setting them free.
“The reason I did not press for the release of these mechanized fishing boats is that it is mostly owned by DMK’s T R Baalu and Jayalalithaa’s resident friend Sasikala. Since they are empowered and rich persons, and did not petition me anyway, I concentrated on the release on poor unprotected fishermen,” he said. Baalu who underwent a surgery recently and is recuperating, couldn’t be reached for his response.
In the letter to the PM, Subramanian said that fishermen’s association of Tamil Nadu had submitted a petition to him seeking the release of fishermen caught in Sri Lankan waters. Swamy said his success in release of fishermen had rattled Jayalalithaa, “who had made a business of the plight of fishermen by doing nothing about it except writing letters to you, and earlier to Manmohan Singh, and releasing to the press.” The BJP leader alleged that the chief minister saw this success as threatening her political position in the impending Assembly polls.
Jayalalithaa took exception to the reported remarks of Swamy in a televised interview on Monday. “It is particularly distressing,” she had said, adding “This statement of Swamy has given rise to resentment and angst not only among the fishing community but also among people of Tamil Nadu.” She expressed confidence that Swamy’s view was not the official position of the BJP or the Centre.
In his letter to Modi, Swamy has also criticized the chief minister for appropriating to herself as her achievement, his hard work, such as on the Mullaperiyar dam, installation of the Thevar statue in Parliament and the 2G spectrum scam. “She has even claimed that she saved Rama Setu. The disinformation let loose in her controlled media was successful, because I did not challenge her on this misappropriation of credit for the work I had done,” Swamy said. (Times of India)