M K Stalin undecided on PMO invite for Xi Jinping dinner

V3 News image

Chennai: To go, or not to go, that is the question. The Hamletian dilemma has infected the Prince of the DMK, who seems to be struggling for a response to the invitation from the Prime Minister’s Office to the invitation for a dinner being hosted in honour of the visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram.
Invited in his capacity as the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Stalin is worried that his participation could trigger apprehension-even criticism-among his allies in the minority communities and hot debate in the ever-thirsty media, particularly the Tamil TV channels, that he's warming up to the BJP.
"And if he chooses not to go in the hope it would reiterate his secular credentials, that too could end up as a serious breach of political courtesy and diplomatic etiquette as the event involves a visiting Head of State. There is worrisome dilemma troubling our leader", said a DMK senior, requesting anonymity.
PMO has included only a limited number of dignitaries from the state government for the Modi-Xi dinner. The list of invitees includes the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and the Leader of Opposition.
The saffron nightmare has been disrupting Stalin's sleep in yet another issue too. Informed sources told DC that the BJP Government at the Centre had offered the position of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker to the DMK as per the convention of the nominee of the second largest party in the House holding the post.’’
The saffron nightmare has been disrupting Stalin’s sleep in yet another issue too. Informed sources told DC that BJP Government at the Centre had offered the position of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker to the DMK as per the convention of the nominee of the second largest party in the House holding the post.
AIADMK’s M Thambidurai was the Deputy Speaker during 2014-19, thanks to Jayalalithaa leading the party to a stupendous score of 37/39 in the Parliament polls of May 2014.
Sources said DMK senior MPs and former Union Ministers, T R Baalu, A Raja, S S Palanimanickam and Dayanidhi Maran are in line hoping to get the nomination from the party boss, but he remains undecided while the post of the Deputy Speaker remains vacant in Lok Sabha for over three months now.
Stalin’s hesitance could be out of fear he might get damned by allies and be branded saffron in the media if he accepts the LS post. A few among the party seniors feel he is hesitating as he does not want any ‘power-centre’ evolving in the DMK unit in Delhi.
“Already, we have had tough time handling the speculation and the ridicule that erupted when Stalin visited the Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor over the latter’s invitation to discuss the DMK’s announcement of agitation for Amit Shah’s Hindi advocacy”, said the DMK senior. “When we gave up that protest plan after the Governor explaining to thalaivar that Shah had not prescribed Hindi imposition on non-Hindi states, many slammed us and said we have capitulated to the BJP on the language issue”.
Adding weight to Stalin’s worry, AIADMK Minister Rajenthira Balaji declared at a public meeting in Virudhunagar late Thursday that if his party quits the BJP camp, the DMK “is just waiting to rush in”.