Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and sought allocation of coal for the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited. However, the presence of confidant V Maitreyan and the absence of the state electricity minister, who had come with them to Delhi, at the meeting triggered speculation.
Electricity Minister P Thangamani is a trusted supporter of Chief Minister E K Palaniswami. In fact, days after the merger of the EPS and OPS factions of the AIADMK, Thangamani had faced T T V Dinakaran’s wrath as the sidelined AIADMK leader removedThangamani from the post of the party’s Namakkal district secretary.
Maitreyan told The Indian Express that politics was not discussed at the meeting with the PM. No political meaning should be read into the absence of Thangamani, he said, as the Deputy CM and Electricity Minister later met Union Power Minister R K Singh together. “It was a meeting between the Prime Minister and Deputy CM,” he said. But many in the AIADMK were not convinced, given reports of growing differences between the CM and Deputy CM.
Asked whether he met Modi to complain against EPS, Panneerselvam said he would not reply to assumptions, and added that he and the CM had no grievances against each other. Panneerselvam said the Deputy CM explained to the Prime Minister the steps taken by the state government to check spread of dengue.
Sources in the government said the Health Ministry, on the Prime Minister’s direction, has deputed a multi-disciplinary central team to investigate the outbreak of febrile illness in certain districts of Tamil Nadu.