Chennai, Apr 7 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said his party had maintained a consistent stand over Sri Lankan Tamils issue and hinted that AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa had taken up the issue only with an eye on the April 13 Assembly elections.
Karunanidhi said at an election rally whether it was DMK recognising Selva as the father figure of Tamils' movement in Sri Lanka in 1956 or not supporting a resolution moved by AIADMK government before the death of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran demanding his arrest and deportation to India, the Dravidian party had maintained a consistent stand.
"Jayalalithaa even went to the extent of saying that casualties are common in a war (when Tamil civilians were being killed in the conflict between Sri Lankan army and LTTE)," he said.
"During my meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, I raise the issue saying India should protect the Tamils," the 87 year-old leader said, adding he had recently made a pitch for India pressing Sri Lanka for constitutional amendments to ensure equal rights and status to minority Tamils, during a joint rally he addressed with Sonia Gandhi.
He said, "Jayalalithaa has today become a close relative" of Sri Lankan Tamils, indicating that she had taken up the issue on the eve of polls.
He repeated his oft-stated remark that fratricide had "weakened" the Tamil movement in the island nation.
Karunanidhi said it was his DMK which comprised of Tamils "who shed tears for Sri Lankan Tamils and one who had always been behind them," and exhorted voters to consider this. PTI