- O Panneerselvam and PM Modi has a twenty-minute meeting in Delhi yesterday.
- An insider source revealed to Asianet Newsable the contents of that meeting.
"I am with you to root out corruption in Tamil Nadu," Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have conveyed to O Panneerselvam and Dr V Maitreyan, the AIADMK leaders, during their twenty-minute meeting recently in New Delhi.
A source shared with us further details about the conversation. O Pannerselvam presented a five-point agenda to Prime Minister, according to the insider source.
1) Dismiss the AIADMK Government in Tamil Nadu: Pushing this idea, OPS made several points to the Prime Minister, like the fact that Sasikala was still in charge of the AIADMK and meeting Tamil Nadu ministers from inside a jail cell. Plus, he is believed to have stressed Sasikala's pro-Congress bent as well.
2) Crackdown on cases: OPS asked for the cases against Tamil Nadu cabinet ministers, who were raided by the Income Tax two months earlier, should continue. There has been a lull in the state after a spate of raids and headlines. OPS would like the cases to be followed up on. OPS said that the Tamil people cheered when the Centre raided the Ministers, and there was a feeling that Modi alone could take such a bold step.
3) Panchayat elections: OPS pressed for the Centre to impress upon the state government the need to hold the Panchayat elections. The OPS camp believes this election will test, and perhaps prove, the groundswell support for their faction of the AIADMK. OPS assured the PM that the BJP might have an alliance with AIADMK (Amma) faction for those polls.
4) The Two Leaves: OPS asked for the freezing of the two leaves symbol of the AIADMK by the Election Commission. The dispute over the symbol is a serious cause, and the legal war between the two factions of the AIADMK is being actively debated with the Election Commission. There has been a delay due to the filing of a huge number of affidavits by the 1250 Members of the AIADK General Council.
5) Sasikala's best friends: On the political front, OPS convinced the PM that Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the current CM of Tamil Nadu and leader of his own camp in the AIADMK, was still close to Sasikala. OPS stressed that the Palaniswami camp was presenting a 'wrong' picture of BJP leaders in the state, in which they appear to be for the BJP. But in reality, OPS stated, the Palaniswami camp and Sasikala were inseparable.
The PM gave the case a hearing, and reportedly the one reaction from the PM that most cheered OPS was the statement - "We will not tolerate corruption, at whichever and whatever level it will be. Let us work together. I am with you to root out corruption in Tamil Nadu."
R Rajagopalan is a senior journalist and analyst. The views expressed here are his own.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:51 PM