Tamil Nadu

Jaitley drops in on Jayalalithaa

Union Minister Arun Jaitley being greeted by AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa during a meeting at her Poes Garden residence, in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: Special Arrangement  

In a surprise meeting that is set to churn the political scene in Tamil Nadu, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, on Sunday, called on AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at her Poes Garden residence here.

An official statement from the AIADMK said the meeting lasted 40 minutes. Mr. Jaitely was welcomed warmly by Ms. Jayalalithaa.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Jaitely said the meeting was a “courtesy call” and that he was in Chennai on Sunday to attend the wedding of RSS ideologue S. Gurumurthy’s daughter.

Mr. Jaitley is the first Union Minister to meet Ms. Jayalalithaa after her conviction in the disproportionate assets case in September.

“We understand Mr. Jaitley explained to Ms. Jayalalithaa the various measures being undertaken by the Centre to put the economy back on track. He also sought the AIADMK’s support for passing several Bills that are likely come up in Parliament during the budget session,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

The meeting assumes significance given the predicament the Centre is facing with numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is not in majority. With 11 members in the Upper House and 37 in the Lok Sabha, the AIADMK’s support could turn out to be crucial for the BJP to pass important Bills, including the new land acquisition Act.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 7:45:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/union-minister-arun-jaitley-meets-aiadmk-leader-jayalalithaa/article6799480.ece

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