As PM Modi Begins New Term, Why Tamil Nadu Has No Representative
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 58-member Council of Ministers has no representative from its Tamil Nadu ally AIADMK, which won one seat in the Lok Sabha polls. Many say the party missed the bus because of the tussle between Chief Minister E Palaniswamiand and his deputy O Panneerselvam. The BJP didn't win a single seat in the state.
Mr Paneerselvam or OPS reportedly wanted his son Raveendranath, the lone NDA winner, in the government. A leader of the powerful Thevar community, Raveendranath won from his home turf Theni, defeating Congress leader EVKS Ilangovan.
Sources say even before the election results, OPS had been lobbying for a ministerial berth for his son.
Reports suggest a section of the AIADMK, mainly from the Chief Minister's camp, proposed the name of R Vaithilingam, a Rajya Sabha member, three-time legislator and a former minister in J Jayalalithaa's cabinet. He was also a confidant of Jayalalithaa, who died in December 2016.
Both the AIADMK hopefuls reportedly stayed put in Delhi, waiting for a phone call.
Till Thursday night, a senior AIADMK leader had said: "Vaithilingam will join the government though the party is also lobbying for Raveendranath."
Raveendranath denied reports that he had received a call to join the Prime Minister's team, saying: "I'm expecting a call". Mr Vaithilingam also denied any call but said: "I'm not expecting the call".