CHENNAI: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the ruling AIADMK group headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami amid an intra-party patch-up attempt, he has agreed to meet the rebel faction led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam in New Delhi on Monday.
The delay in giving an appointment, according to sources, was tied to the rebel group playing hardball and filing an additional affidavit before the Election Commission of India, urging it to take cognizance of the ruling faction ejecting T T V Dhinakaran from his party post.
“We have been given an audience with the Prime Minister at 11 am on Monday,” said a senior leader of the rebel faction. Panneerselvam will be accompanied by his core team comprising Dr V Maitreyan, MP, KP Munusamy, ‘Natham’ R Viswanathan, both former ministers, S Semmalai, MLA, and Manoj Pandian, former MP.
After visiting the Sai Baba Temple at Shirdi and Shani Shingnapur Temple, both in Maharashtra, Panneerselvam and his core team returned to New Delhi on Sunday evening, sources said. While on their pilgrimage they got confirmation about the appointment and returned to the Capital, the sources added.
Though Palaniswami appeared to show an olive branch, the rebel camp is still uneasy. “We are not in a hurry.
Let them spell out their response to our main demands. Only then we can move forward,” a rebel MP told Express on Sunday. He argued that the ruling faction could be using the offer of merger talks as a ploy for achieving their agenda. The meeting with Modi comes on a day when Dhinakaran will launch his mass contact programme from Madurai.