The Tamil leader met Modi here in the presence of BJP leaders Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley. He also urged them to reconsider the decision.

"Rajapaksa is the butcher of Tamils. Mr Modi should reconsider the decision to invite him (for the swearing-in ceremony on May 26)," Vaiko said.

When asked what was Modi's response, Vaiko did not say anything, indicating that he got no assurance.

On Thursday, Vaiko had written a letter to Modi expressing his sadness over the invitation being extended to Rajapaksa for the event.

He further said that the Congress party wanted Rajapaksa to come to Delhi.

"Congress wants Rajapaksa to come to India so that they could blame BJP for the plight of Tamils. ...BJP leaders from Tamil Nadu are also very upset with the decision of Modi," he said and urged the BJP to ensure that the Tamils' interests are protected.

According to Vaiko, Jaitley said the concern of Tamils is a national issue.

Vaiko met BJP president Rajnath Singh earlier in the day and said that the presence of Lankan President would hurt the feelings of the Tamil people.

"I have requested him to take up this request to Narendra Modi to avoid the presence of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the swearing-in ceremony," Vaiko said.

Vaiko recalled that Sri Lanka was not invited when BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn-in as the Prime Minister in 1998-99 and the subsequent ceremonies to mark assuming of offices by the Congress-led UPA in 2004 and 2009.

"When Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister he did not invite the Sri Lankan president for the swearing-in ceremony. Why is he being invited now? It will be the saddest day for more than a million people in Tamil Nadu and crores of Tamils all over the world when Rajapaksa comes to India," Vaiko added.

Several political parties in Tamil Nadu allege that civilian casualties of the Tamils rose during the last leg of the war against LTTE with Rajapaksa at the helm of affairs.

(JPN/Agencies)

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