Political compulsions or political realignment?

TN minister at RSS event Venkaiah Naidu holds review meet with CM Whats cookingPTI
news Politics Monday, May 15, 2017 - 17:32

Even as the merger of the two warring factions of the AIADMK remains a non-starter, the ruling camp appears to be inching closer to the BJP and the RSS. Developments over the weekend have led to speculation that the Edappadi Palaniswami government is warming up to the saffron party.

On Sunday, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu held a review meeting with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on the Centre’s flagship schemes at the state Secretariat. The meeting, perhaps a first in the state, triggered speculation over the motives of the Centre and its interference in the state’s affairs.

While Naidu was quick to clarify his visit, stating “I have not come here for any politics. I have come for a departmental review”, the DMK accused the Centre of meddling into the affairs of the state.   Speaking to TNM, DMK spokesperson A Saravanan said, “From the beginning Stalin has maintained that the BJP is trying to rule through proxy. Venkaiah Naidu is making it clear who is the boss. But the BJP is meddling with the Constitutional provisions of the state. What business does he have in the Tamil Nadu Secretariat? His functions lie in Delhi.”

The “departmental review” also comes a day after the Higher Education Minister KP Anbazhagan inaugurated a clean-up drive in Dharmapuri organised by the RSS- the BJP’s ideological mentor.

The timing of the two events comes on the back of a number of political developments over the last few weeks including merger talks between the two factions of the AIADMK, the arrest of party leader TTV Dhinakaran in the EC bribery case and the I-T raids on the properties belonging to Health Minister C Vijayabaskar ahead of the RK Nagar bye-elections, which were eventually cancelled.

While the DMK and the ruling AIADMK faction have in the past accused former CM O Panneerselvam of being supported by the BJP, the developments over the weekend appear to have triggered political realignments in the state once again.

The DMK, however, accused the AIADMK of being weak on the Centre, with Saravanan stating, “The review meeting is a clear example that Tamil Nadu government does not have a spine. They are unable to govern the state and they are afraid of the BJP and that scams will tumble out of the closet.”

The ruling AIADMK has been rocked by infighting since the death of former CM J Jayalalithaa last December. While Edappadi Palaniswami managed to pass the trust vote by a handful of votes in February, his razor thin majority has left his government shaky and instable, especially following the arrest of Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran.  


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