India’s Vice President likely to represent Manmohan at CHOGM
Friday, 18 October 2013 00:01
Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will likely attend on Indian PM’s behalf
With voices of protest against India’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo next month growing louder, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to skip the summit and may send the country’s Vice President Hamid Ansari in his stead, India’s Times of India newspaper reported yesterday.
Times of India said Congress and DMK leaders said there are enough indications to show that the Prime Minister is not willing to attend the meeting, keeping in mind the strong anti-Sri Lanka sentiments in Tamil Nadu.
A senior Congress leader told the newspaper that India may be represented at the summit by Vice-President Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
Quoting sources, the newspaper said the Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress and the party’s erstwhile partner DMK may have prompted a rethink in the Government on the Prime Minister’s participation in the biennial event.
“The Prime Minister and other senior leaders in the party have been discussing the issue for the last month. We got indications that the PM is not likely to attend the meeting,” a Union minister from Tamil Nadu told the newspaper. He said the PM is likely to request Ansari to travel to Colombo for the summit, Times of India reported. Ansari had headed the Indian delegation at the last CHOGM in Australia in 2011.
Manmohan Singh’s recent letter to DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi also hinted at a rethink on his participation in the meeting. He said the matter would be decided after considering all factors, including the sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu and DMK.