Political Lunch Diplomacy May Fetch Rewards for TN

Published: 08th August 2015 04:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2015 04:21 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:Lunch diplomacy. That’s all senior BJP and AIADMK leaders see in the unusual luncheon meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at her Veda Nilayam bungalow on Friday afternoon. While politics would inevitably be on the agenda when two high profile leaders meet, going by the official agenda, AIADMK leaders feel that the ‘luncheon coup’ that their leader staged by getting a visiting Prime Minister to come over to her home, would augur well  for the State in bagging immediate rewards from the Centre.

Considering that the meeting took place a day after BJP president Amit Shah visited Madurai ostensibly to build the party’s base, leaders of both parties consider this as “healthy politics” – something which is absent in Tamil Nadu, where parties remain on opposite poles.

AIADMK leaders argued that the party had been maintaining constructive relationship with the NDA government supporting what is people-friendly and opposing what is against federal principles of the country. “There is no hard and fast rule for such meetings (between a CM and PM). Modi has broken protocol many a time since becoming Prime Minister and has been meeting leaders of opposition parties. Perhaps, this may be his diplomacy,” former State Finance Minister and AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan told Express. “We have been maintaining a constructive relationship with the Centre. Whenever there is a threat to federalism, we have opposed the Centre and where it is beneficial for the State, we support it,” he added.

Another senior leader, Panruti Ramachandran, described it as a courtesy call as the two are good friends for a long time.

BJP national secretary Muralidhar Rao termed this as an interaction. “It is a government to government kind of discussions and there is no politics in it,” he claimed.

BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan described the meeting as a reflection of healthy politics. “It is a good gesture on the part of both of them,” she said.  According to her, the meeting would benefit Tamil Nadu, not the parties in Tamil Nadu. She insisted that the BJP was still clear that it would emerge as an alternative political force in the Dravidian heartland.


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