Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 58-member Council of Ministers has no representative from its Tamil Nadu ally AIADMK, which won one seat in the Lok Sabha polls.
Around noon on Thursday, the buzz in the national capital was that the AIADMK’s lone winner OP Ravindranath Kumar, son of deputy chief minister and party leader O Panneerselvam, will be a part of the Modi cabinet.
The internal rift between the EPS and OPS camps made the party miss the bus yet again, said reports. Till Wednesday, two candidates from the AIADMK were in the race for a portfolio in the new BJP government.
While Panneerselvam was trying hard to bargain for a post for his son, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy, also known as EPS, wanted his loyalist and senior Rajya Sabha member R Vaithilingam to get a Cabinet berth.
Reports suggest a section of the AIADMK, mainly from the Chief Minister’s camp, proposed the name of R Vaithilingam, a Rajya Sabha member, three-time legislator and a former minister in J Jayalalithaa’s cabinet. He was also a confidant of Jayalalithaa, who died in December 2016.
With 5,04,813 votes, 39-year-old Raveendranath managed to gain 43.02% of the total votes in Theni constituency. Next in line with less than 8000 votes away was EVKS Elangovan from the Congress.
This actually is the second big jolt for Amma’s party, post-Amma. Contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BJP and PMK, it managed to win just one seat at Theni while the rival DMK-Congress team swept the polls.