India is in a dilemma on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Colombo next month, given the vehement opposition to his participation from political parties in Tamil Nadu.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who recently visited Colombo, is learnt to have told his Sri Lankan counterparts that India was seized of the issue and would soon take a final decision on the matter.
However, Khurshid confirmed that he himself would take part in the CHOGM Foreign Ministers’ meet to be held ahead of the summit.
He also is understood to have told the Lankan leadership that while deciding on the PM’s participation, India would take into account the steps taken by the government to implement 13th Amendment.
While the Prime Minister is personally said to be in favour of participating in the summit, a decision is expected to be taken keeping in view domestic political compulsions in this election season.
The DMK and the AIADMK have strongly demanded that the Prime Minister should boycott the summit.
Officials in the South Block, however, are of the view that the Prime Minister must attend the summit as his non-participation would send a wrong message not only to Colombo, but also to other neighbours, especially at a time when India’s relations with them are far from satisfactory.