Chennai, May 23 UNI | 2 months ago

Voicing his opposition to the invitation extended to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, BJP's key ally the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) today appealed to the Centre to reconsider its decision.

In a statement here, PMK Founder Dr S Ramadoss, who had reluctantly agreed for a tie up with the saffron party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, said the BJP should have avoided inviting Mr Rajapakse, who was facing charges of war crimes by the UNHRC, for this historic swearing-in ceremony.

While once again extending his congratulations to Mr Modi, who is all set to assume office as Prime Minister on May 26, 'Dr Ramadoss said "the BJP should have avoided inviting Mr Rajapakse for the swearing-in ceremony".

"Respecting the sentiments of the Tamil people, the decision to invite Mr Rajapakse for the swearing-in of the BJP-led NDA Government led by Mr Modi, should be reconsidered," he added.

Dr Ramadoss' opposition to Mr Rajapakse's participation assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of reports of his son and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss getting a possible berth in the Modi Cabinet.

In his maiden elections, PMK contested under the rainbow alliance formed by the BJP and Anbumani Ramadoss was elected from Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency.

He and BJP State President Pon Radhakrishnan, who got elected from Kanniyakumari seat, were the only ones to taste success in the polls on an otherwise dismal performance by the BJP-led Front for which Mr Modi extensively campaigned in the State.

PMK was the second alliance partner of the BJP to oppose Mr Rajapakse's participation after MDMK General Secretary Vaiko expressed his anguish and resentment on this.

He also wrote a letter to Mr Modi and also met BJP President Rajnath Singh to personally request them to withdraw their decision.

(Posted on 23-05-2014)