Former Chief Minister of the Northern Province A. Varatharaja Perumal says as India’s Prime Minister between 1984 and 1989, Rajiv Gandhi neither asked Sri Lanka to adopt a federal constitution nor did he get involved in the drafting and implementation of the 13th Constitutional Amendment.
Perumal told the Indian Express the Rajiv Gandhi in 1986 categorically said that India would not ask Sri Lanka to adopt a federal constitution.
However Rajiv Gandhi has been quick to include that Lankans were free to put to their government any constitutional proposal they liked.
When asked why the Indian Prime Minister then shied away from federalism, Perumal said it was probably because Rajiv had battled a strong pro-autonomy militant movement in Punjab.
Perumal recalled that neither Rajiv nor his successors pressed the Sri Lankan government to implement the 13 Amendment in letter and spirit though it stemmed from the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord.