Will Modi-Xi meet bring changes in TN politics?

Chennai: Though the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jingping, set to take place in nearby Mamallapuram this weekend, has officially got nothing to do with local politics, there are speculations that it would pave way for changes in Tamilnadu political arena.

The ‘GoBackModi’ hashtags, which greeted the Prime Minister whenever he visited TN in the recent years, are unlikely to appear on social media this time, as DMK president M K Stalin, the most vocal opponent of the BJP government, has welcomed the summit and even hailed the PM and the Chinese President for choosing Mamallapuram as the venue.

”I feel happy that the Chinese premier is going to come to Tamilnadu. I welcome his visit wholeheartedly. I feel proud that PM Modi and Chinese President will have joint talks in Mahabalipuram, which is a historical place,” he said in a statement.

He thanked the Central government for choosing the location and said that the Pallava kings, who ruled the southern India centuries ago, had close relations with China through sea trade.

MDMK leader Vaiko, an alliance partner of the DMK and popular for showing black flags to Modi, has said the second informal summit of the PM and Chinese President in the ancient town of Pallavas, Mamallapuram, is historic.

”I hope the summit of the two leaders in Mamallapuram will lead to blooming of brotherhood between the countries and create peace in the Asian continent,” he said and placed a string of requests to the Centre including an infrastructure upgrade to Mamallapuram.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is personally supervising arrangements being made for the high profile event, has said that the second informal summit between the Prime Minister and Chinese President in the State on 11 and 12 October was a matter of ‘pride’ and has raised its stature in the global arena.

”I welcome both these world leaders on behalf of the people of Tamilnadu and the state government,” he said in an official statement.

If sources are to be believed, Palaniswami, Stalin and actor Rajinikanth are among top personalities who have been invited for the dinner Modi will be hosting to Jingping in Mamallapuram. The PM, who is lately expressing his love for Tamil in international arena, is expected to display it once again during the summit.

Given the above developments and the BJP high command’s burning desire to make the party gain inroads in Tamilnadu, political observers are of the opinion that the upcoming event would change a few political equations here. But, sources in the national party say everything should not be viewed as politics.

M Bhaskar Sai