After India abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution that sought an international investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged war crimes, Union Minister P Chidambaram has said, "Personally, I feel India should have supported the resolution."
Mr Chidambaram is a senior Congress politician from Tamil Nadu, where regional parties have been demanding action against Sri Lanka for alleged killings of ethnic Tamils during the final phase of the island's civil war which ended in 2009.
The minister said his party took a "neutral stand" by abstaining from vote at the United Nations session in Geneva. "There is no unanimity among parties in Tamil Nadu on the resolution," he added.
At the UN session before the vote yesterday, the Indian envoy said that India felt the resolution showed "an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty." Sri Lankan is being accused of failing to implement adequate reconciliation measures and investigate allegations of war crimes after the end of a three-decade civil war.
Speaking to NDTV, envoy Dilip Sinha said India does not support the operative para 10 of the resolution which asks for an international inquiry but encourages Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry's report and findings.
The UN resolution, which is the third consecutive one faced by Sri Lanka, is led by the US. It was rejected by Colombo.
With the national election due in weeks, the Congress-led government has been evaluating the potential consequences of abstaining from the vote in Geneva.
The issue of whether and to what extent Tamils in Sri Lanka were persecuted by the Sinhalese majority is an emotive one in Tamil Nadu. Last year, the Prime Minister lost the DMK, a crucial member of his minority government, which said New Delhi had failed to take a strong stand against Sri Lanka.