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Uncertainty looms large in Dravidian politics

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

DMK working president M K Stalin’s visit to the BJP state headquarters to pay tribute to late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the invitation the party extended to BJP chief Amit Shah to attend the M Karunanidhi commemorative summit to be held on 30 August in Chennai may not be the only latest spins in Dravidian politics.

Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam’s outburst against Union minister Nirmala Sitaraman during his discourse at the party executive committee meeting yesterday was more surprising than anything.

Panneerselvam, who is also the AIADMK co-ordinator, reportedly turned emotional on Thursday evening while addressing the closeddoor meeting of his party executive, according to sources.

“The recent snubbing by Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharama when I went to meet her in New Delhi should be seen an insult not only to me but also to the 1.2 crore AIADMK cadres,” said Panneerselvam while making his concluding remarks.

Panneerselvam had gone to New Delhi to personally thank the defence minister who had reportedly made available to the former chief minister, a military helicopter for airlifting his ailing brother to a corporate hospital in chennai from Madurai.

But Sitharaman refused to meet the present Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister though she gave an audience to other AIADMK leader Dr V Maythreyan.

This is seen as a sign of rethinking on the part of the AIADMK about forming an alliance with the BJP, which still have to get foothold in the state.

Stalin’s visit to the state BJP headquarters after the announcement by the DMK that BJP president Amit Shah would attend the Karunanidhi memorial came in, the rumours on possibility of changing equations between rivals and allies started flying thick and fast.

The memorial meeting for Karunanidhi would see the who’s who of Indian political landscape excluding the AIADMK. The leaders who have confirmed their participation are senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, former PM Deve Gowda, former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah Derek O’Brien, of TMC and others. The notable absentee would be Rahul Gandhi.

With confusion of “where to stand to survive” engulfing both AIADM and DMK as the Loksabha elections are nearing, Darvidian majors seem to faceng an existential crisis.