Apparently giving mixed signals, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met leaders of both allies and rival parties soon after her arrival here for a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, BJP leader Ravi Shanker Prasad and CPI leader D Raja among the personalities who met the AIADMK supremo during her first visit here after last month’s elections.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s congratulatory telephone call to Ms. Jayalalithaa after her spectacular victory in the assembly polls fuelled speculation of a meeting between the two during her first visit here.
But Ms. Gandhi is said to be away from the capital and a meeting between the two is unlikely now.
While Ms. Dikshit declined to comment on the meeting, Mr. Prasad, who was accompanied by his wife, described it as a courtesy call.
“Occasionally we talked about national politics. We reflected upon the current general situation of the country”, he said.
Mr. Prasad said he told her that her party’s victory was a victory for democracy because it was earlier stated that DMK could retain power on the strength of money power.
On the meeting, he said when he had called to congratulate her, she had said she would meet him when she was in Delhi.
Mr. Prasad said his wife was an admirer of Jayalalithaa and had asked her whether she was a law graduate. The Chief Minister replied that she was not even a graduate but “sometimes I correct the notings of my lawyer”, he quoted her as saying.
Mr. D. Raja, Rajya Sabha member of AIADMK ally CPI, said that he did not discuss politics but only the problems confronting the State like financial difficulties and the power issue.
He said that the Chief Minister would be meeting the Prime Minister and present a memorandum to seek active support of the Centre for improving the economic situation in the State.
Asked about Ms. Dikshit calling on Ms. Jayalalithaa, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said both Congress and DMK have spoken about the alliance between the two parties.
“Obviously an elected Chief Minister might consider appropriate to meet the Prime Minister which is in the domain of the government”, he said.
During her meeting with Dr. Singh, Ms. Jayalalithaa is expected to discuss issues like Sri Lankan Tamils and various developmental projects in her State.
The issue of Indian fishermen being allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan Navy when they cross into its waters inadvertently is also expected to be discussed during with her meeting with Dr. Singh on Tuesday.