Jaya meets Modi, mum on support

Jaya meets Modi, mum on support

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa described her first meeting with  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday as “resourceful and rewarding”, but remained tight-lipped on whether she would accept a BJP proposal to support or join the new government.

Their meeting took place amid much speculation that the BJP would bring a proposal for alliance with the AIADMK because it has 10 Rajya Sabha members and is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha with 37 members.

However, she was noncommittal when asked if her party would support Modi's government in Parliament, pointing out that the NDA and “even the BJP has majority in the Lok Sabha and does not need our support”.

On whether the AIADMK would support the government in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in a minority, she said, “We will see if the need arises.”

The 50-minute meeting had been postponed a few hours because of the death of Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident in the capital on Tuesday. Modi visited the BJP headquarters to pay his respect to Munde.

Modi, who delayed a Cabinet meeting to speak to Jayalalithaa, did not comment on his talks with her, but posted pictures with her on his Twitter handle “@PMOIndia”.

Jayalalithaa, known to share a good rapport with Modi, said the prime minister “is very receptive and listened to issues. The meeting was resourceful and rewarding.” Stating that she had raised a number of pending problems of Tamil Nadu with him, Jayalalithaa said, “Modi was chief minister and he understands the problems of a state. He promised to do what was necessary.”

This was the first time the two leaders met after Modi was sworn in last week, as Jayalalithaa had skipped the ceremony in protest against the presence of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, accused by Tamil Nadu's parties of committing war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils.

Jayalalithaa clarified that she had not appealed for any special financial package for the state.

A Tamil Nadu government press release later said her 65-page memorandum to Modi contained 21 issues, including the Mullaperiyar dam, the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, restoration of traditional fishing rights of TN fishermen and granting of the Digital Addressable System licence for the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation.

She also briefed Modi on demands relating to the power sector, urban infrastructure and services, metro rail, transport and industrial Infrastructure, modernisation of police and declaration of Tamil as an official language.

Interestingly, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday ordered the release of 29 Indian fishermen arrested by the country's Navy a few days ago for allegedly trespassing into Lankan waters. The news came before Jayalalithaa met Modi.

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