Jaitley’s Jaya meet kicks up controversy

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2015 02:26 IST

Dubbed as a courtesy call, the meeting between Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on Sunday night raised a storm with opposition parties questioning the propriety of the meeting.

DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi was scathing in his criticism. He hit out at the Modi government wondering whether if it was living up to its pre-election promise of probity in public life.

Few hours after the morning papers here published pictures of Jaitley and Jayalalithaa sitting inside her Poes Gardens residence, Karunanidhi issued a statement slamming the meeting.

“Is it proper for a Union minister to meet a convicted person?” the DMK patriarch questioned.

He alleged that the meeting was proof that Jaitley and Jayalalithaa would go in for an out of court settlement regarding her disproportionate assets case.

In a Facebook post, Karunanidhi’s son Stalin said, “For the first time in the history of a democratic nation, we have seen the finance minister of a country going to the house of a person convicted for corruption. Calling it a disgrace would be understating the issue. Is there any integrity left in the union government headed by the BJP?”.

In what can be embarrassing for the BJP, its own ally PMK too hit out against the finance minister for the meeting.

PMK chief S Ramadoss, who has been critical of the Modi government over a host of issues, told reporters in Salem on Monday that the Centre must issue an explanation.

“Why should a central minister meet a convicted person? It is highly condemnable and gives rise to suspicion,” Ramadoss said.

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