PM, Jaya meet over lunch, talk on common issues

RSTV Bureau
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Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is greeted by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa at the airport in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on Friday. Photo – PTI

In a significant development seen in the backdrop of BJP-led NDA government’s bid to get some of its key legislations through in the Parliament, PM Narendra Modi on Friday met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The Prime Minister held meeting with the leader of AIADMK, the third largest party in Lok Sabha at the latter’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai on Friday afternoon.

PM Modi was in Chennai to inaugurate the National Handloom Day earlier in the day at University of Madras.

The Prime Minister first launched the National Handloom Day celebrations and then drove straight to the Chief Minister’s residence where the latter warmly welcomed the PM at the doorstep.

The two took up the issues of key bills in the Parliament to the matters concerning Tamil Nadu.

During their 50 luncheon minute long meeting, the Chief Minister gave a memorandum to PM Modi seeking Centre to immediately address the issues concerning inter-state river disputes on Cauvery and Mullaperiyar and the legislations like GST roll-out, besides issue of Sri Lankan Tamils. CM Jayalalitha also sought for the retrieval of Katchatheevu islet from Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Modi, who was on his first visit to Chennai after taking over the office in May 2014, assured the Tamil Nadu CM every help for the development of the state.

With the opposition, in particular the Congress party, not letting the offensive against Modi government ease over the issues of Lalit Modi and ‘Vyapam’ scam, the government is seen reaching out to other like-minded parties to get some of the key ‘reforms’ legislation passed.

NDA government has already got AIADMK’s broad support on the controversial Land Acquisition Bill in the Lok Sabha even though Jayalalithaa had raised some reservations on it citing interest of the farmers. Currently, AIADMK holds a substantial strength with 37 members in the Lok Sabha and 11 in the Upper House.

Earlier in the day during his address at the National Handloom Day function, Prime Minister Modi thanked the state government and the people of Tamil Nadu for successfully organising the event. Though Jayalalithaa was not present during the function, state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam read out her speech that warmly welcomed Modi.

Though J Jayalalitha chose to skip the PM’s public event, while she welcomed him at the airport.

(With inputs from the PTI)