The Deputy Chief Minister, emerging out of the meeting, said he submitted a memorandum of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami highlighting the demands of the state. Describing the meeting as a ‘courtesy call,’ he said no politics was discussed with the Prime Minister. He also denied any rift with the Chief Minister and said he had no regrets or complaints after the merger.
Panneerselvam said he had joined hands with Palaniswami to fulfill the objectives of AIADMK founder MGR and his successor J Jayalalithaa. Rejecting suggestions to bring back sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran into the party, he said no one, who had not worked at the grass roots would be promoted to higher posts. He also magnanimously declared that it was not true that no one other than himself from the AIADMK could meet the PM.
While the meeting is a clear signal that Panneerselvam continues to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘blue-eyed boy,’ the move is also seen as an indirect message to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s camp to redress the grievances of Panneerselvam. The development is likely to keep the Chief Minister’s camp on tenterhooks and guessing about the Centre’s next move.
Panneerselvam’s explanation that he discussed the allocation of coal for the state with the Prime Minister, left political analysts wondering about the meeting, since Thangamani, who had gone to Delhi, but unable to accompany the Deputy Chief Minister during the meeting is in charge of Electricity portfolio. However, Maitreyan told DTNext that several administrative issues besides coal allocation were discussed during the meeting.
Political commentator Ravindran Duraisamy said, meeting the PM alone could not be considered as a victory for OPS. “At the present, Modi is unlikely to interfere in the AIADMK affairs. The meeting will not have any political impact,” he opined.