CHENNAI/THENI: After waiting for days and nurturing hopes, supporters of P Raveendranath Kumar, AIADMK's lone Lok Sabha MP and son of Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, are a dejected lot since he did not find a place in the Cabinet.
Also, reported differences between Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Panneerselvam on choosing a nominee for the Council of Ministers was said to have shut the window of opportunity for the AIADMK.
That the expectation was quite strong could be seen from wall posters put up in Theni district that hailed Kumar as a "Central Minister" before he was officially named and well ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.
Supporters were also preparing to accord a grand reception for Kumar in Theni.
"We had even bought firecrackers and ordered sweets and planned a big reception," his supporters in Theni said, adding "time will ripen soon."
"It is not only the party workers, even those in other levels were expecting him, a young man and another senior leader to find a place in the Cabinet.
It was naturally a disappointment," a AIADMK senior functionary said.
The Cabinet is expected to be expanded in the near future and the AIADMK will get a berth, he hoped.
Kumar's name, along with that of senior leader V Vaithilingam was doing the rounds for a berth in the Council of Ministers for nearly a week.
On reports that there was no agreement between Palaniswami and his deputy on whom should be named for the "single ministerial slot offered," by the BJP, (whether Kumar or Vaithilingam), he said agreements and disagreements were common in any party.
"Wait for the official word and don't draw your own inferences," he added.
The divergent stands of the top two leaders reportedly put paid to AIADMK's chances of finding a place in the Union Ministry.
Asked about the reported disagreement between Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, a former state minister and a senior AIADMK leader, told PTI "these are all perceptions built by the media."
He, however, did not clarify as to why a ministerial berth eluded the AIADMK.
"It will happen (berth for AIADMK). There are no differences (on choosing nominees for ministership)," he said.
Other AIADMK sources pointed out that during the run-up to the polls, Palaniswami had repeatedly attacked the DMK for being a "family-centric," party.
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Palaniswami had time and again said while an ordinary worker could climb up the party ladder in AIADMK, only a member belonging to late M Karunanidhi's family could aspire for positions in the DMK.
The chief minister had even said after Karunanidhi, his son Stalin was anointed as party chief and now his son Udayanidhi was being groomed to lead the party in future.
After having taken such a tough stand against grooming heirs for political roles, Palaniswami could not have been comfortable in propping up Kumar's name for a slot in the Union Cabinet, they said.
Another functionary wondered if the "AIADMK was offered a slot at all when the JD(U) itself was offered just a single berth after a superb show in Bihar."