Hours after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman denied having given an appointment to meet Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the latter responded with some wisdom from former CM CN Annadurai.
Upon his return from New Delhi on Tuesday evening, the Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister was faced with a posse of media persons eager to seek his reaction to the snub.
One reporter asked, "You have returned from Delhi. There have been reports that the Defence Minister refused to meet you. Please tell us about this?”
In response, a smiling O Panneerselvam said, “The great Anna (CN Annadurai) has already told us that we need to have a heart that withstands anything.”
He then quickly walked away, escorted by partymen and security officials.
The events of Tuesday have been nothing short of an embarrassment for OPS.
As soon as there were reports of a potential meeting between the AIADMK leader and the Defence Minister, OPS addressed media persons at the Tamil Nadu Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Stating that he would be meeting the Defence Minister, he said, “This is not a political visit. I have come to meet and pay my respects to Hon'ble Nirmala Sitharaman. She did a big favour for me by providing an air ambulance for my brother when he had taken ill to enable him to get to Chennai from Madurai. I have come to convey my heartfelt gratitude to her.”
However, the revelation about the personal favour drew severe flak on social media and a reportedly miffed Nirmala Sitharaman refused to meet OPS who was waiting outside her office.
Making matters worse for OPS, at 2:44 pm, the office of Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted that the Minister had met only AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan and not OPS. “Appointment was given to Shri V Maitreyan, MP, Rajya Sabha. Deputy CM of Tamil Nadu has not met Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman,” the tweet said.