Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering speculation of differences between him and Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy, but he asserted that they were working unitedly. “There are no hard feelings in me. And there will be no hard feelings because of me. It has been an unconditional merger (between the factions headed by Panneerselvam and Palaniswamy) at the end of the ‘dharma yudham’,” he said. “The functiniong of the government is good and brilliant. The Chief Minister is consulting me and all other ministers before taking decisions,” he told reporters after meeting Modi. Journalists plied Panneerselvam with questions about the reported differences between him and Palaniswamy and that he had complained to the Prime Minister about them.
He said there was no basis for such speculation, adding that both he and the Chief Minister have come together to ensure the proper functioning of the government for realizing the ideals of the late MGR and J. Jayalalithaa. When a reporter asked him about the “saffronisation” of Tamil Nadu, Panneerselvam shot back: “The media questioning has now gone off the track.” About the purpose of the meeting with Modi, Panneerselvam said he had given a memorandum seeking allotment of coal for electricity production because of its shortage.
The Prime Minister assured him that whatever coal was required for power production would be made available to the state, he said. He also discussed the situation in the wake of the spread of dengue in Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister promised him that a central team would study the situation and take remedial steps.