Amid DMK troubles, Jayalalithaa creates ripples in Delhi

Amid DMK troubles, Jayalalithaa creates ripples in Delhi

Amid DMK troubles, Jayalalithaa creates ripples in Delhi

Delhi's Congress Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Bharatiya Janata Party's Ravi Shankar Prasad called on Jayalalithaa at the Tamil Nadu House here soon after her arrival on a two-day visit.

The AIADMK chief, who led her party to a thumping victory last month, kept away from the media. She is to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday.

While Dikshit presented a bouquet to the Tamil Nadu chief minister, the BJP's Prasad said he met Jayalalitha to congratulate her on her party's "extraordinary victory" in state elections. "It was a courtesy visit," he said.

The BJP contested the Tamil Nadu election on its own while the Congress was allied with the DMK - the AIADMK's arch foe. Both the Congress and the DMK were decimated.

But with Congress-DMK ties strained over the jailing of the latter's leaders A. Raja and Kanizmozhi -- the DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's daughter -- all eyes were on Jayalalithaa.

Another person who called on the visiting chief minister was D. Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI), an AIADMK ally.

Both Raja and Prasad declined to comment on speculation that the Congress might be interested in winning over the AIADMK, with which it has enjoyed a love-hate relationship.

Raja, a Rajya Sabha member, said later that Jayalalithaa was expected to take up several issues concerning Tamil Nadu when she meets the prime minister.

AIADMK sources told IANS this would include the worsening power crisis in Tamil Nadu and the situation in Sri Lanka.

Jayalalithaa is very critical of the way the Sri Lankan military crushed the Tamil Tigers. She has pressed New Delhi to take steps which could put Sri Lankan leaders on trial for "war crimes".

The AIADMK chief has also condemned the attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen on the sea, alleged by the Sri Lankan Navy.

It is not known if Jayalalithaa will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is reportedly in Switzerland, a Congress source said.

After the Tamil Nadu verdict last month, Gandhi invited the AIADMK chief for tea, triggering speculation that the Congress may be preparing to dump the DMK and embrace the AIADMK.

The last time Gandhi and Jayalalithaa joined hands after a meeting over tea in New Delhi more than a decade ago, the government of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee collapsed.

"Although the Congress has not openly given a pro-Jayalalithaa shift, the party definitely seems to be rebuilding the relations with the AIADMK," a party source added.