Nirmala Sitharaman refuses to meet OPS

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New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Senior AIADMK minister and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Pannerselvam was on Tuesday refused an appointment by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a development that created flutters in political circles in the state.

Pannerselvam, who was appointed Coordinator in the AIADMK after the split in the party last year, wanted to meet the Defence Minister and thank her for her help in giving an air ambulance to rush his brother for treatment in Chennai.

After telling the media that it was a courtesy call, Panneerselvam left for Defence Ministry along with senior party MP V. Maitreyan. While he was made to wait, Maitreyan met the minister. Forty-five minutes later, Sitharaman’s office tweeted: “Appointment was given to V. Maitreyan. Deputy Chief Minister of TN O. Panneerselvam has not met Nirmala Sitharaman.”

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A distraught Deputy Chief Minister left for the airport straight from the Defence Ministry to take a flight back to Chennai with his supporters.

In Chennai, Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy said his deputy had gone to Delhi to meet Sitharaman and thank her for her help in providing air lift facility for his ailing brother.

Speculation was rife that Panneerselvam sought an appointment with BJP President Amit Shah to prove to his detractors in the party that he had better equations with the BJP high command but failed to get an appointment with him.

Significantly, the AIADMK had supported the NDA government in the opposition no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.

On reaching Chennai, Panneerselvam told the media: “One should have the heart to accept anything.”

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