NEW DELHI: Responding to Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb's comment that the Bhartiya Janata Party BJP would expand its footprint in neighbouring countries Sri Lanka and Nepal, the Election Commission of Sri Lanka turned down such claims, asserting that the country's electoral law does not permit such an arrangement.
Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Tripura. CM Deb during a party meeting at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan said that the former BJP President Shah had told that BJP wanted to establish the party and form governments in neighbouring countries after winning all states in India.
Taking note of reports in line with the comment made by the Tripura CM, the chairman of Sri Lanka's Election Commission Nimal Punchihewa said that any political parties or group of the island nation can have external links with any party or group overseas. However, the electoral laws of Sri Lanka do not permit overseas political parties to set up a political unit to work here.
While expressing that the BJP deeply valued the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) partnership, Deb in the party meeting stated that when Amit Shah was serving as the BJP President, he had told party leaders that the BJP would expand its wings in other regional countries as part of ''Atmanirbhar South Asia'' initiative.
It may be mentioned here that last year President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's brother, Basil had said he envisioned modelling the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna either on the lines of the BJP or the Communist Party of China.
Deb while praising Shah said that under Shah's leadership BJP has become the world's largest party and also broken the records of the Communists party who as per Deb make claims of being a global party. He further stated that BJP will also form its government in Kerela, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and "lotus will bloom across the country".
Meanwhile, Deb's comment has stirred up controversy with the opposition seeking clarification from the central leadership over the claim made by the chief minister of Tripura in the public meeting of interfering in the internal affairs of the foreign country.