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PM's function did not follow protocol: Jaya
May 06, 2003 02:07 IST
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday told the state assembly that she boycotted Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's official function at the Chennai Airport on Sunday, as 'due respect' was not shown to her.
She specifically referred to the seating arrangements at the function in which the Vajpayee inaugurated a new international departure terminal and cargo-handling facilities.
"I was allotted a seat in a corner, while Baalu, who was in no way connected with the function, was seated next to the prime minister," she said, adding, "The convention that a chief minister should be seated next to the prime minister was thus given a go-by."
She blamed it on the 'clout' of the Union Environment Minister T R Baalu, member of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the state and the ally of the ruling Bharaitya Janata Party at the Centre.
Jayalalithaa referred to a fax message received from the Prime Minister's Office on Saturday, which clearly stated that she would be seated in a corner. "All these things were done by Baalu, who has a lot of 'clout' with the prime minister," she said, adding, "It would have been better if the minister had used his influence for getting more drought relief funds and rice for the state, besides Cauvery water."
She said, "I do not want any respect to be shown to me as Jayalalithaa, but due respect should be given to the chief minister's post."
She was replying to the issue raised by the lone All-India Forward Bloc member L Santhanam.
She also blamed Baalu for the Airports Authority of India going back on its promise to name a terminal after the late All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief Minister M G Ramachandran. She charged Baalu with acting 'acting behind the scenes', and shedding crocodile tears in public over her absence.
More reports from Tamil Nadu
Read about: Cases Against J Jayalalitha | Cauvery Water Dispute