A tug-of-war seems to have begun between the two AIADMK factions over inviting the prime minister to their respective functions marking the birth centenary of party founder M G Ramachandran. The O Panneerselvam-led faction today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured it of attending its event in Otcober. The announcement came on a day when rival camp leader and Chief Minister K Palaniswami invited Modi to be the chief guest for the valedictory of the AIADMK stalwart’s centenary celebrations, undertaken by his government, in December.
Panneerselvam chaired a meeting of AIADMK MPs and MLAs, who had joined his camp, besides other senior leaders, where the message was conveyed to them. The elected representatives and other functionaries were told in the meeting that Panneerselvam, during his meeting with Modi in Delhi on May 19, had informed him of their plans to hold “grand celebrations” to mark MGR’s birth centenary and that he had been invited to “grace” the occasion. “The functionaries were informed that the prime minister has given an assurance that he will participate in the function and asked that the date (in October) be intimated to him,” a release from the rebel camp said.
Earlier, Panneerselvam had said MGR’s birth centenary celebration was discussed at the meeting. Palaniswami, who met Modi in Delhi this morning, had invited the prime minister to attend the valedictory of the ongoing MGR birth centenary celebrations in December as chief guest. He had informed Modi that the state government was celebrating MGR’s birth centenary in a grand manner throughout the 2017 calendar year across the state and that it would culminate with the valedictory in December this year.
At today’s meeting, Panneerselvam informed his colleagues that he had sought Modi’s intervention in issues concerning Tamil Nadu including exemption from the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) and addressing the water shortage in the state, the release said.