Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam over alleged misuse of power, reported PTI.
This comes a day after Panneerselvam said he visited New Delhi to thank Sitharaman for arranging a military air ambulance to shift his ailing brother to Chennai from Madurai. He was, however, denied an appointment.
Stalin questioned how a defence helicopter can be provided for use by a private individual. “It is a mystery as to how a military helicopter was provided to a private individual,” said Stalin, according to PTI. “So far this news has not come out and it has now emerged through Panneerselvam himself. Both Nirmala Sitharaman who provided the helicopter and Panneerselvam who used it should resign from their respective posts.”
Sitharaman instead met All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP V Maitreyan. But the meeting was not cordial. “We don’t know what she is upset about,” an AIADMK leader had said. “Maybe it is because he spoke about the air ambulance. But everyone knows that a military air ambulance was given for Panneerselvam’s brother. This is disappointing.”
However, the Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party unit said there was no politics in the matter, and Sitharaman did not meet Panneerselvam because he did not have an appointment. “I don’t see any politics in this,” BJP leader Narayan Tirupathi told India Today. “When A Raja was union minister, he was helped by the then defence minister George Fernandes. The Parliament is in session and Sitharaman must’ve been busy.”