It was a meeting that had the political sphere abuzz in Tamil Nadu. Lasting just ten minutes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited DMK President and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence in Chennai on Monday.
Modi, who was in Chennai to attend the platinum jubilee celebrations of Tamil newspaper Dinathanthi and a wedding, chose to meet the ailing 94-year-old leader. Arriving at 12:12pm on Monday, the Prime Minister was first greeted by Karunanidhiâ€™s younger son and DMK working President MK Stalin. Stalin, who had in May accused Modi of refusing to meet him in New Delhi, presented the PM with a shawl.
DMK working President MK Stalin greets PM Modi
Pictures from the meeting clearly show the two sharing an easy camaraderie and beaming at each other.
PM Modi shares a laugh with Stalin and Kanimozhi
Also present at the Gopalapuram residence were Karunanidhiâ€™s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, senior leader Durai Murugan, Rajya Sabha MP TKS Elangovan. Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Pon Radhakrishnan, along with BJP state chief Tamilisai Soundrajan were also present at the meeting.
Termed a courtesy call to the senior-most leader in the state, the Prime Ministerâ€™s meeting with the veteran leader was seen as a statesman-like gesture. Speaking to reporters following the visit, BJPâ€™s Tamilisai said that PM Modi had invited Karunanidhi to his residence in New Delhi. The DMK chief in turn presented the Prime Minister with a copy of the Thirukkural.
PM Modi visits DMK Chief Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai
â€śThe Prime Minister enquired about the DMK chiefâ€™s health. He invited him to his Delhi residence, asking him to take rest there for a few days,â€ť said Kanimozhi to Puthiya Thalaimurai.
The timing of the short meeting has, however, raised eyebrows given that it comes a day before a special CBI court in Delhi is set to announce the date of judgement for the 2G spectrum scam. Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and Former Telecom Minister A Raja are accused in the corruption scandal.
PM Modi greets Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal
The Prime Ministerâ€™s detour to Gopalapuram was announced on Monday morning by BJP leader Muralidhar Rao on Twitter.
Karunanidhi has not been active in politics for the past few months owing to poor health. He made his first public appearance last month, when he visited party mouthpiece Murasoliâ€™s office.