Finding itself being isolated in Tamil Nadu on issues relating to the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils, the Congress is planning to organize a conference in Chennai on November 30 and has roped in Union finance minister P Chidambaram to defend its stand.
Intellectuals, party representatives and a wide cross-section of people from across the state are expected to participate in the conference with the theme ‘Rights of Sri Lankan Tamils and India’s stand.’
Chidambaram’s son and Congress leader Karti Chidambaram said it was an effort to explain the views of the UPA government and the party. “There have been misinterpretation and misinformation on the position of the Indian government and the Congress party on issues relating to the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. The finance minister would clearly articulate the position of the Congress party as well as the Indian government,” Karti told TOI over phone.
Sources in Chidambaram’s office said the party has invited a few intellectuals, Congress leaders in the state and few other political leaders, who have associated with Chidambaram personally and politically. Political observers point out that leaders of the Congress in Tamil Nadu are in a position to defend the party’s stand ahead of the Lok Sabha election.
While Union ministers P Chidambaram, G K Vasan and Jayanti Natarajan expressed strong reservations about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s participation in the recent Commonwealth summit held in Colombo, regional parties opposed India’s participation.
“We have to counter the accusations. Chidambaram would be the right leader from our side to address these issues. He took personal effort to organize this conference,” said a Congress leader.