AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi, in yet another sign of the deepening friendship between the two sides.
Officially, sources say, the meeting was to formally convey to the PM the support of the OPS AIADMK faction for the BJP's candidate for the upcoming Presidential poll. OPS' camp consists of 10 MPs and 9 AIADMK MLAs.
Insider sources also revealed that OPS spent fifteen minutes having a one-on-one talk with the PM to discuss the future politics of Tamil Nadu. The chemistry between PM and OPS has been good since the days of Jayalalithaa. On two occasions they have reportedly exchanged confidential information.
The meeting with OPS is part of the PM's ongoing exercise of getting commitments from smaller parties to support the BJP's candidate for the Presidential poll.In this series, OPS' meeting is the third. YSR Congress and the Akali Dal were over last week.
The PM has reportedly entrusted the task of coordinating the smaller parties to Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. In fact, Naidu had a detailed meeting with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami last week, when Naidu was in Chennai to flag off the Chennai Metro.
Naidu is believed to have gotten the required commitment verbally, but the promise will only be formally endorsed after CM Palaniswami meets the PM. Palaniswami belongs to the Dinakaran faction of the AIADMK, who have 26 Lok Sabha MPs and 124 MLAs in their camp.
This is a significant chunk of votes. Hence there will be gala hype before the Dinakaran faction meets the PM. It is believed that this formal authorisation will be given to the PM once Dinkaran obtains bail from jail.