Newly-elected Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa arrived in New Delhi on Monday, setting off speculation yet again that a realignment of forces could be in the offing at the Centre. This has come in the wake of the growing acrimony between the DMK and the Congress over the arrest of Ms Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, in connection with the 2G scam.
Adding fuel to the speculation was a visit by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit to Tamil Nadu Bhavan where she met Ms Jayalalithaa. It is learnt that Ms Dikshit conveyed a message from Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to the AIADMK leader — that the Congress is not averse to doing business with her.
Emerging from the meeting, Ms Dikshit refused to comment on her discussions with Ms Jayalalithaa. The meeting between the two three-time lady CMs has set the political temperature soaring in Delhi.
D. Raja of the CPI and Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP, too, called on Ms Jayalalithaa. Ms Jayalalithaa is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, apparently to seek assistance for a slew of projects for her state and confer with him on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia is also expected to be present during the meeting.
The choice of Ms Dikshit as Mrs Gandhi’s emissary — the Congress president herself is not in town — is significant given her proximity to 10, Janpath. General secretary in charge of TN Ghulam Nabi Azad is not in town. According to sources, Ms Dikshit had been in touch with Ms Jayalalithaa for the last three-four days following instructions from the party high command to keep Ms Jayalalithaa in “good humour” so that she can be roped in if the situation warrants. Asian Age