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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2860

Tamil Nadu CM to meet PM Modi today; Bharat Ratna for Jayalalithaa, Cyclone relief on agenda

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today the 19th December in the national capital and relay the details of the damages caused by the Cyclone Vardah in the state and seek more financial assistance as federal relief so that the state could initiate more measures to assuage the sufferings of people in the affected areas, especially in Chennai.

"The Chief Minister will also handover a letter to bestow late chief minister J Jayalalithaa with the Bharat Ratna and to unveil bronze statue in the Parliament campus," an official statement said.

Tamil Nadu Cabinet which met under CM OPS earlier on December 10 decided to recommend late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa for India's highest civilian honour, the 'Bharat Ratna'.

In its first Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam after Jayalalithaa's demise, the Cabinet also decided to recommend to the Centre installation of her life-size bronze statue in Parliament complex.

Cyclone Vardah hit several parts of Tamil Nadu earlier on December 12. The storm uprooted trees, electric posts, cut electricity supply to Chennai, overturned cars and did extensive damage to buildings as it tore across Chennai.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at least 10 people have died.

Prior to the storm's landing, Chennai already was pounded with heavy rain and winds.

Panneerselvam has met Modi before while he was acting CM as CM Jayalalithaa was in jail owing to disproportionate assets case.

Meanwhile, efforts on to make VK Sasikala, aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the next General Secretary of the ruling AIADMk so that there is no split in the party that would weaken the party. Jayalalithaa Peravai (assembly), a wing of the ruling AIADMK, on Sunday urged VK Sasikala to take over the mantle of party General Secretary, contest in bypoll and become Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister. A resolution in this regard was adopted at a meeting of the Peravai held at the burial site of Jayalalithaa at the Marina Beach in Chennai. Later, it was handed over to Sasikala by the Peravai's Secretary RB Udhayakumar, who is also the Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister, at the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa where Sasikala continues to live.

Top leaders of the party are seeking to have a safe person to lead the party and guide the government. At a time when the party leaders including Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai have been urging Sasikala to lead the party, the Peravai's resolution impressing upon Jayalalithaa's confidante to take over as Chief Minister assumes significance. Homage was paid to Jayalalithaa at the site before the meeting began, which was attended by 50 Peravai district (party-districts) Secretaries and AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan.

Among the participants were State Ministers, Kadambur Raju (Information Technology) and Sevoor S Ramachandran (Hindu Religious and Endowments Department) who also happen to be among the district Peravai secretaries of the AIADMK. "Besides guarding the AIADMK, Chinnamma (as Sasikala is referred to by party workers) should fight the RK Nagar bypoll (now vacant due to the death of Jayalalithaa) and assume responsibility as Chief Minister, and lead the Amma's government," Udhayakumar told reporters.

The resolution adopted at the Peravai meeting condoled Jayalalithaa's death, hailed her contribution and work for the people. It also hailed Sasikala as the party's only "trust and confidence" in the wake of void created by the death of Amma.

Meanwhile, State Ministers, AIADMK functionaries and the general public continued to throng the burial site of Jayalalithaa to pay their homage.

Food packets were distributed by the AIADMK at the burial site to visitors. A "music homage" was paid to Jayalalithaa by veena exponent of the traditional Carnatic music E Gayathri, who is also the vice chancellor of Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University, at Marina beach burial site of the late Chief Minister.

- Asian Tribune -

Narendra Modi  & O. Panneerselvam
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