Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and did not rule out the support of her party AIADMK to his government in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA is in a minority. She met Modi in his office for the first time since he became the Prime Minister.
During the 50-minute meeting, Jayalalithaa presented a 65-page memorandum which included demands for additional allocation of resources for Tamil Nadu and expediting formation of a sub-committee for the Mullaperiyar Dam after the Supreme Court order to raise its water level to 142 feet.
After the meeting, she said, it was "very useful". Asked if AIADMK would join NDA, the party chief said there is "no proposal".
Queried about the possibility of AIADMK supporting NDA from outside, she replied, "NDA has got an independent majority. For that matter the BJP itself has got an independent majority. They don't need support from outside." Asked if AIADMK will support the NDA in the Rajya Sabha, Jayalalithaa did not rule it out, saying "We will see when that situation arises."
While BJP alone has an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, it lacks crucial numbers in the Rajya Sabha and may have to seek the support of smaller regional parties in the Upper House to get certain crucial legislations passed.
BJP has a total of 42 members in Rajya Sabha, while AIADMK has 10 Rajya Sabha members in the 243-member Upper House whose current strength is 231. In the Lok Sabha, AIADMK is the third largest party with 37 seats.
Among her demands, Jayalalithaa also sought constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board, additional allocation of power from central generating units, Chennai Metro Rail extension and a host of other developmental projects including those in agricuylture, urban development and industrial development.
She also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and put forth her demands. A statement issued by the Finance Ministry said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister discussed the financial issues relating to her state with Jaitley as also Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram and Expenditure Secretary P Watal.