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Katchatheevu row: PM Modi sharpens attack on Congress says it "divided country into pieces"

Udham Singh Nagar: Weighing in on the Katchatheevu issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hit out at the Congress party, accusing it of "dividing the country into pieces" during its 60 year-long regime.
PM Modi, who kicked off BJP's poll campaign in Uttarakhand today by addressing a rally in Rudrapur which is part of the Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency alleged the Congress, "can never protect the country's land."
"There was an island under the sea in Tamil Nadu, but the Congress gave it to Sri Lanka and now when our fishermen venture into that area by mistake, they are arrested. Can this Congress ever protect our land when it gave our Katchatheevu to another country," the PM said.
Coming down heavily over Congress, he further said that the party has given poll ticket to its leader who asked to divide the country into north and south regions, instead of punishing him.
"Congress could not develop the border villages of the country and termed the last villages, but the BJP called those villages the first ones and developed them. If the Congress government had remained in power till date, our former soldiers would have not got 'one rank one pension'," the prime minister alleged.
The decades-old territorial and fishing rights dispute around Katchatheevu island has been brought back into the limelight with the BJP and the opposition engaging in a war of words over the issue.
PM Modi on Monday also targeted the DMK for mishandling the Katchatheevu island issue and alleged the ruling party of Tamil Nadu did nothing to safeguard the state's interests.
New details emerging on the issue of India handing over the Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka have unmasked the DMK's double standards totally, PM Modi posted on X, citing a news report that said that then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had given his concurrence to the agreement despite his party's public posturing against the deal.
"Rhetoric aside, DMK has done NOTHING to safeguard Tamil Nadu's interests. New details emerging on #Katchatheevu have UNMASKED the DMK's double standards totally. Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don't care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular," PM Modi tweeted.
The media report is based on an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai to his queries on the 1974 agreement between India and Lanka when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.
Meanwhile, among the 543 Lok Sabha seats, Uttarakhand contributes just five seats and the BJP has fielded Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah, Anil Baluni, Ajay Tamta, Ajay Bhatt, and Trivendra Singh Rawat for these seats.
The people of Uttarakhand will cast their ballots in a single phase on April 19, according to the Election Commission of India.
Uttarakhand has traditionally witnessed a close contest between the BJP and Congress. Both parties see the state as an essential battleground for displaying and gaining supporters for their national narratives.
The BJP had won all the Lok Sabha seats in the elections in both the 2014 and 2019 elections.
With 47 out of 70 assembly seats, the BJP dominated in the 2022 assembly polls, while Congress got 19 seats. BSP and Independents hold 2 seats each.

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