DMK Working President MK Stalin on Sunday wondered how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had the time to meet AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) leader O Panneerselvam but not the farmers or himself, who wanted to take up their cause with him.
Stalin said he was not finding fault with the meeting between Modi and the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in Delhi two days ago, but sought to know why he had no time for farmers from the state, who had been staging protest in the national capital for long.
Panneerselvam was not holding any position now and was only a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) but he was given appointment by Modi on “short notice,” Stalin said.
“What I am asking is, you (PM) are aware of the plight of farmers who are facing so many difficulties. They held protest in Delhi for almost 50 days.”
“But the Prime Minister never gave an appointment to them.. They said you (PM) may not heed their demands but at least give an audience for their satisfaction to hear them out,” he said.
Stalin was speaking after participating in his party’s desilting of a water body in this district where he also operated an earth mover.
The DMK leader recalled that he, as Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly had recently chaired an “all-party meeting” to discuss farmers’ problems in Tamil Nadu.
Among the resolutions passed there was to meet the Prime Minister and convey to him the ecisions taken in the meeting, he said.
The Prime Minister could at least meet him on behalf of all party leaders even if he could not grant an audience to all of them, he said.
“We had sought appointment (with Modi) and are waiting.. But there has been no response from the Prime Minister’s Office (so far).”
“Prime Minister is meeting someone (Panneerselvam) who is holding no post.. But he doesn’t meet the LOP who has so much responsibility to discuss farmers’ problems,” Stalin said.
Panneerselvam had met the Prime Minister in New Delhi on May 19 to discuss issues concerning Tamil Nadu.
Hitting out at Stalin for his criticism of the prime minister, the BJP’s state unit said it was “not proper” for him to level such charges against Modi.
“The prime minister knows when to meet whom and under what circumstances,” BJP state unit president Tamilisai Sounderrajan said.
The prime minister was not saying no to meeting people and was meeting those from the lower strata of society too, she said.
She recalled that Modi had recently met, among others, some local body representatives from Tamil Nadu.
He had also ‘met’ agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan, she said, in an apparent reference to the prime minister releasing a book by the scientist.
“Therefore these accusations made against the prime minister are for politics and nothing else,” she added.
(With PTI inputs)