At a meeting of the top brass of the Congress at the residence of Prime Minister this morning a view emerged that it would be “difficult” for Singh to visit Sri Lanka at this juncture, party sources said.
They said that the meeting took note of the fact that all political parties in Tamil Nadu are opposed to a visit by the Prime Minister to Sri Lanka and that the state assembly had passed a unanimous resolution against India participating in the Commonwealth summit.
The Congress Core Group meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence was chaired by party President Sonia Gandhi and was attended among others by senior ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushilkumar Shinde and Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.
The sources, however, said that a final decision has not been taken. It could take a day or two for the government to formalise its stand, they indicated.
Political parties in Tamil Nadu and several other outfits have opposed India’s participation at any level in the CHOGM meet alleging that the Sri Lankan government had committed gross violation of human rights and had no plans to devolve powers to the ethnic Tamils.
Three Union ministers G K Vasan, V Narayanasamy and Jayanthi Natarajan have publicly opposed the Prime Minister’s participation in the summit.
The External Affairs Ministry headed by Salman Khurshid has, however, been favouring Singh’s presence in the CHOGM scheduled on November 15, maintaining that it was vital as it will reflect India’s interests. It is also paramount to the nation’s strategic and security interests, the MEA feels.