Chennai: Narendra Modi's invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his swearing-in ceremony has rattled its southern ally MDMK, which has expressed "unexplainable grief".
MDMK founder Vaiko today said Rajapaksa's presence in Monday's ceremony would hurt Tamil sentiments.
He said the Congress was shown the door by the people of Tamil Nadu for "helping Colombo in its pursuit against LTTE, in which thousands of Tamil civilians were killed."
Vaiko asked Modi and BJP national president Rajnath Singh not to allow the Lankan president to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
"It will hurt Tamils the world over. In such a situation it has come as a major jolt that invitation has been reportedly sent to Rajapaksa," Vaiko said in a statement.
Vaiko and many other Tamil political parties accuse Rajapaksa of presiding over alleged war crimes during the last leg of the war against the Tamil separatist outfit LTTE.
The Centre's reasoning that he was part of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) who have been invited for the swearing-in was not acceptable and his participation in the ceremony would result in "grief and regret" for Tamil people, he added.
Vaiko recalled that Sri Lanka was not invited in (1998) when BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in, and the subsequent ceremonies when Manmohan Singh took office.
Meanwhile, the DMK has also criticized the move. DMK leader TKS Elangovan was quoted as saying, "He could have avoided it when he is becoming the PM...he should have respected Indian sentiments."