CHENNAI: Within a few hours of the announcement of Union minister Venkaiah Naidu as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the NDA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night called up Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and sought the support of his faction of the AIADMK for Naidu election. Election to the Vice-President’s office is scheduled for August 5. Palaniswami assured his party’s support for Naidu.
Modi also thanked Palaniswami for extending full support to NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. The Chief Minister later called up Venkaiah Naidu and greeted him on his nomination, according to an official press release.The PM also called up former chief minister O Panneerselvam, who leads a rebel faction of the AIADMK, and sought his party’s support for Naidu. Panneerselvam agreed to do so, the party said in a release.
The rebel AIADMK faction has a strength of 13 MPs, including two in the Upper House. Venkaiah Naidu is a familiar face in Tamil Nadu and has deep friendship cutting across party lines. When a section of NDA ministers like Piyush Goyal had commented about former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s inaccessibility, Naidu differed saying his experience was always positive.