A red light and a bell indicating that she had to wrap up her speech in 10 minutes may have prompted Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa to walk out of a key meeting of CMs, in New Delhi on Thursday.
But, AIADMK insiders say, there's more to her anger with the Centre and, in particular with some Central ministers.
Jayalalithaa is cut up over New Delhi's refusal to bail her out from any of the severe crisis facing Tamil Nadu — be it power or water.
Despite her personal rapport with the PM, she finds her pleas for financial assistance or package either delayed or denied.
As she puts it, “Every single legitimate request of our state has been turned down or ignored and every initiative stymied.”
Tamil Nadu Congress leaders, however, blame her for the “wrong start”. In June 2011, when she made her first visit to Delhi after a landslide win, she attacked finance minister P Chidambaram of getting himself elected to Parliament through “fraudulent” means.
Chidambaram had hit back saying the matter was sub judice and and she was committing “gross contempt of court.”
Since then, AIADMK leaders have accused some Union ministers from Tamil Nadu of putting a spanner in their leader's initiative to get Central aid, which includes cost of laptops for schoolchildren, which she promised in her poll campaign.
The latest trigger is, however, the Centre's blunt refusal to let her government-owned cable television distribution network to get DAS (digital addressable system) licence to break the monopoly of the Maran family-controlled Sumangali Cables, a sister concern of the Sun TV.
On December 3, she sent a delegation of party MPs to call on the PM on granting DAS for Arasu Cable.
She also wanted the entire 2,000 MW of power, which will be generated from the first two units of the Kudankulam nuclear plant, to be allotted to Tamil Nadu.
It is another story the PM utilised the opportunity and sought the AIADMK support for retail FDI.
The I&B ministry told the TN government that licences have not been issued to any state-owned organisation for running cable TV networks as recommended by the TRAI.
Secondly, Jayalalithaa is deeply worried over the power crisis engulfing the state. Even as she blames her predecessor DMK regime, her rival M Karunanidhi has launched a state-wide stir on the issue.
The PM told the AIADMK MPs that the Centre has already agreed to Tamil Nadu getting 1,000mw from Kudankulam.