Vanathi-Edappadi meeting sets off talks of political thaw

No political agenda behind it, claims BJP leader

The general secretary of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vanathi Srinivasan, on Wednesday met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, ostensibly to highlight the need for urgent action on the part of the State government on a number of water supply and irrigation projects in the western districts.

The Avinashi-Athikadavu, Anamalaiyar-Nallar and Pandiar-Ponnampuzha projects reportedly figured in the talks. Ms. Srinivasan, who also reportedly urged the government to protect the Noyyal river from further environmental degradation, wanted the government to come out with a new policy on river-sand quarrying.

 Asked whether the meeting had a political agenda, the BJP leader asserted that there was “nothing political” in the day’s event. When she had undertaken a march in Coimbatore district in March in support of the water issues concerning the western region of the State, she had announced that she would meet Chief Minister and present her memorandum. “I have just carried out what I had said then.”

She responded with huge laughter when she was asked whether she had broken the “psychological barrier” between the BJP and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma). “You are free to infer anything. But, I would reiterate that my meeting had no political agenda,” Ms. Srinivasan said.

Local Administration Minister S.P. Velumani also said he did not see any political purpose behind the meeting, though speculation was rife on social media that the meeting marked the coming together of the AIADMK (Amma) team and the BJP, and was politically significant.