In a First, No Tamil Nadu MP in Central Cabinet; OPS-EPS Rift Keeps AIADMK Away from Modi’s Team
While O Panneerselvam was trying hard to bargain for a post for his son, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy wanted his loyalist and senior Rajya Sabha member R Vaithilingam to secure a Cabinet berth.
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswamy and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
Chennai: The only NDA ally that has not found a place in Narendra Modi’s new cabinet is the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Around noon on Thursday, the buzz in the national capital was that the AIADMK’s lone winner OP Ravindranath Kumar, son of deputy chief minister and party leader O Panneerselvam, will be a part of the Modi cabinet.
Kumar, however, said he didn’t receive a call and seemed "hopeful" of getting one.
The suspense over Kumar’s ‘elevation’ continued till the evening as the OPS camp said it was waiting for confirmation.
The internal rift between the EPS and OPS camps made the party miss the bus yet again.
Till Wednesday, two candidates from the AIADMK were in the race for a portfolio in the new BJP government. While Panneerselvam was trying hard to bargain for a post for his son, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy, also known as EPS, wanted his loyalist and senior Rajya Sabha member R Vaithilingam to get a Cabinet berth.
This is also the first time that an elected MP from Tamil Nadu won’t be a part of the central government.
From 2014-2019, BJP’s Pon Radhakrishnan was a minister of state for finance and shipping.
In 1999, 2004 and 2009, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) played a role at the Centre, while the AIADMK got cabinet berths in 1998 when the party was in an alliance with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government.
The AIADMK camp that was hoping to have one of its members in the Council of Ministers seems to have been disappointed.
AIADMK minister Kadambur Raju on Wednesday had told reporters that there was a possibility of the party getting a berth as the BJP had said all its coalition partners would also be accommodated.
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