New Delhi, Sep 16 (Fresh Headline) Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien has written to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar strongly condemning BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari for ridiculing the interaction between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickramsinghe at Dubai airport.
O’Brien alleged that the “irresponsible statements” made by the leader of opposition in West Bengal Assembly are an attempt to create an atmosphere of discord that goes against the spirit of cooperation and development.
He also demanded that the Ministry of External Affairs intervene immediately and censure Adhikari for attempting to damage relations between West Bengal and Sri Lanka, claiming that malicious remarks like those made by Adhikari are also a brazen attempt to damage India’s foreign relations.
In his letter to Jaishankar, the Trinamool leader referred to a post by Adhikari on X (formerly Twitter) on September 13 ridiculing the interaction between the West Bengal Chief Minister and the President of Sri Lanka.
He also said that at a subsequent interaction with journalists, Adhikari made derogatory comments on the Sri Lankan economy and attached the post of the BJP leader on X.
Accusing Adhikari of misusing his position in the state Assembly, O’Brian said, “The leader of opposition in West Bengal Assembly has grossly misused his position as an MLA to try and maliciously hinder the economic cooperation between the government of West Bengal and the government of Sri Lanka.”
He said the Bengal Global Business Summit 2023 is scheduled on November 21- 22, and Sri Lanka is among the nations invited for it.
“The All lndia Trinamool Congress demands that the MEA intervene immediately and censure Adhikari for attempting to damage relations between West Bengal and Sri Lanka,” he said.
“We strongly assert that domestic political differences must not be used as a petty tool to malign the government of West Bengal and damage its efforts to attract foreign investment for the benefit of the people of the state.
“It must be noted here that investment in West Bengal also means investment in India. Malicious remarks like those made by Adhikari are also a brazen attempt to damage India’s foreign relations,” the Trinamool leader said.
Hitting back at the BJP leader, O’Brian said, “We strongly condemn Adhikari’s irresponsible statements that refer discourteously to a friendly neighbouring country. These comments are an attempt to create an atmosphere of discord that goes against the spirit of cooperation and development.
“Such comments, made by a political representative, do not align with the values of diplomacy, respect, and responsible governance that our nation upholds,” he said.
He also highlighted that the year 2023 marks 75th year of India-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations and is also the bicentenary of the Tamil community of Indian origin in Sri Lanka.
When asked about the complaint, Adhikari said, “I am not aware of it as yet. First let me get the details and then only I will react.”
Banerjee, who is on a 12-day trip to Dubai and Spain met Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe at the Dubai International Airport on September 13.
A video of the meeting of the two leaders had gone viral on social media in which the Sri Lankan President could be seen asking to Banerjee whether she is going to lead the Opposition INDIA bloc.
As laughs followed, the Trinamool chief said, “It depends on the people. If people support us, we can be in a position (of power) tomorrow.”
The same day, Adkhikari had posted an imaginary conversation between the two leaders on X.
“I am guessing what conversation might have taken place between the two:- Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe – I have heard that you are leading your state towards an economic crisis like what Sri Lanka is facing?
“Mamata Banerjee – If you can guide me how to borrow more money from the market, I will invite you to attend the next Bengal Global Business Summit.
“Ranil Wickremesinghe – But we are not in a position to invest? What good would happen by attending the Summit? Mamata Banerjee – Don’t worry, you just come and enjoy for 2-3 days and sign an MOU. Anyways everyone comes and signs MOU and nobody invests. I am just concerned about good headlines,” he wrote.