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Friday, June 14, 2024

Jayalalitha to meet PM today

Creating waves on her first visit to the national capital after her landslide victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister arrived here on a two-day visit, ostensibly to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss problems concerning her state.

However, within two hours of her landing here, the chief minister made it a politically high-profile visit as she met leaders from a spectrum of political parties of divergent political hue.

Jayalalitha met Congress leader and Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, BJP general secretary Ravishankar Prasad and CPI leader D Raja — all called on her at the Tamil Nadu House where she is staying. She will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday and address the media before leaving for Chennai.

Becoming the first Congress leader to meet her after her thumping electoral victory, Dikshit’s visit was a surprise but sources close to the two CMs said it was not a political visit.

Congress sources said significance need not be attached as the Delhi CM was not carrying any message from the party high command to Jayalalitha. In any case, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is not here – she is travelling abroad — they added. Dikshit declined to comment on the meeting.

Asked about Dikshit calling on Jayalalitha, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said both the Congress and DMK have spoken about the alliance between the two parties. “Obviously an elected chief minister might consider appropriate to meet the Prime Minister which is in the domain of the government,” he said.

Still Dikshit’s visit became an event as it came just weeks after Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s congratulatory telephone call to Jayalalitha after her spectacular victory in the Assembly polls and the serious differences which have cropped up between Congress’ alliance partner and AIADMK’s staunch rival DMK.

Commenting on his informal discussions, BJP’s Prasad said it was a courtesy call. “Occasionally we talked about national politics. We reflected upon the current general situation of the country,” he said.

Prasad said he told her that her party’s victory was a victory for democracy because it was earlier stated that the DMK could retain power on the strength of money power.
Raja, a Rajya Sabha member of AIADMK ally CPI, said he did not discuss politics but only the problems confronting the state like financial difficulties and the power issue. “There was no discussion on reviving the Third Front or the Congress trying to come closer to the AIADMK,” he said replying to questions.

On Tuesday, Jayalalitha will meet the PM to present a memorandum seeking active support of the Centre for improving the economic situation in the state.

The issue of Indian fishermen being allegedly attacked by the Lankan Navy when they cross into its waters inadvertently is also expected to be discussed during her meeting with Singh on Tuesday.


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