Narendra Modi`s swearing-in: Vaiko meets Rajnath against Rajapaksa`s attendance

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko held talks with Bharatiaya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh regarding the invitation extended to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the swearing-in ceremony of India`s new prime minister Narendra Modi.

Last Updated: May 23, 2014, 10:35 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko on Thursday held talks with Bharatiaya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh regarding the invitation extended to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the swearing-in ceremony of India`s new prime minister Narendra Modi.

Talking to reporters, Vaiko said he has urged Rajnath Singh to discuss the issue with Modi and avoid Rajapaksa`s attendance in the ceremony, due to be held on May 26.

Earlier, Vaiko, in a letter to Modi, said the news of inviting Rajapaksa for the swearing-in-ceremony was like a thunderbolt for him.
"With tears in my eyes and with folded hands I request you to prevent Rajapaksa from attending the swearing-in ceremony and provide a comforting belief to the Tamils," he said, adding officials in the Indian External Affairs Ministry "who betrayed the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils with their wrong advice for the past 10 years, have ill-advised you to invite Rajapaksa".

The MDMK leader also said the Sri Lankan Presidents were not invited for the swearing-in of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as prime minister and later when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments took office.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has termed as "unfortunate" the invitation extended to Rajapaksa.
The DMK has also opposed the invitation, while the Congress and the BJP supported the invitation move.

Heads of government of all eight SAARC countries, Sri Lanka included, have been invited to attend Monday`s swearing-in ceremony of Modi as India`s new prime minister. Besides Rajapaksa, leaders of the Maldives, Afghanistan and Nepal have accepted the invite.