PM did not boycott CHOGM, had assembly elections in mind: Khurshid
Gurgaon – India clarified Tuesday that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not going for the 53-nation Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Colombo was “not a boycott” and a lot of issues were factored in, including the coming assembly elections to five states, before arriving at the decision.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, addressing a press conference, said: “The position we have taken is it is not a boycott.”
He said the prime minister took the “considered call, fac! toring in a lot of issues, including his presence in the country. After all we are facing five assembly elections.”
He said the sentiments of MPs from Tamil Nadu were also taken into consideration as well as the resolution of the Tamil Nadu assembly demanding a boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) summit over alleged human rights violations by Sri Lanka.
“Everything was factored in and a decision taken,” said Khurshid, adding that it was not the first time that the prime minister of the time was not attending the CHOGM.
He added that the prime minister not attending “does not foreclose any legitimate point of view that we will take”.
He also said that India is happy at the landmark elections to the Northern Province in Sri Lanka that were held in September and that an elected government has been sworn in there. He said that Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran, who had invited the prime minister to v! isit the capital Jaffna, would be attending the CHOGM.
Khurshid ! said India is doing a lot of developmental work in Sri Lanka, including building 50,000 houses, and was also involved in road and railway projects in that country.