CHENNAI: Embattled rebel AIADMK leader and former chief minister O Panneerselvam on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The meeting assumes significance as his rivals were fretting over possible raids by central agencies.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Panneerselvam claimed that no politics was discussed. “I placed before him the demands of Tamil Nadu. No politics was discussed,” was his reply to a pointed question.
Panneerselvam, who made a surprise revolt against VK Sasikala’s leadership on February 7, two days after he was stripped off the chief minister’s post, could not make much headway in either capturing the reins of the party or destabilising the ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami government since then.
The merger talks mooted by a section of AIADMK (Amma) leaders hailing from western Tamil Nadu too has remained a non-starter. His petitions challenging the legality of elevating Sasikala as the interim general secretary of AIADMK at the general council meeting too is pending before the Election Commission.
On his meeting with the Prime Minister, Panneerselvam said he had sought funds for the State, which has been fighting to come to terms with the severe drought and resultant agrarian crisis.
“We raised several demands with the prime minister. We sought formation of Cauvery Management Board and Regulation Committee, exemption from NEET, 50 per cent service quota in postgraduate medical courses and waiver of farm loans availed from nationalised banks,” he maintained.
The rebel leaders also urged the PM to order a CBI inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. Senior leaders of AIADMK-PT, former minister KP Munusamy, Dr V Maitreyan, MP, and Manoj Pandian, ex-MP, also accompanied Panneerselvam during his meeting with the Prime Minister, sources said.
According to the sources, the current political situation in the State, Presidential polls and the future of AIADMK could have come up for discussion during the meeting.
Earlier, Panneerselvam and his army of generals visited the Election Commission and submitted documents to support their case against Sasikala’s elevation as interim general secretary.