Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam’s son, OP Raveendranath Kumar, attending a public meeting on the sidelines of Ganesh Chatturthi function, organised by Hindu Munnani, recently, led to a huge political furore in the state. Perundurai constituency MLA and former minister Thoppu ND Venkatachalam was also a special invitee to the programme.
The Theni MP’s participation, in the meeting organised by the Hindu Front at Uthukkuli in Tirupur’s district made it to the headlines and led to speculations that he is endearing himself to the BJP in order to secure a berth in the Union cabinet.
Eye on the hot seat
It is to be noted that OP Raveendranath is the sole AIADMK MP in the Lok Sabha. In the aftermath of his election in 2019, which the AIADMK fought in alliance with the BJP in Tamil Nadu, it was believed that he would be inducted into the Modi cabinet. His exclusion, political pundits say, was due to differences between Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami and OPS.
Since the formation of Modi 2.0, he has been praising the Prime Minister at every given opportunity. He also threw his weight behind the NDA government’s Triple Talaq bill much to the consternation of his party, which officially opposed it and walked out in the Rajya Sabha.
He said, “This Bill would give equal rights to all women in the country irrespective of their caste, creed, and religion.”
With Raveendranath being increasingly seen as taking sides with the BJP and its affiliated groups, questions are being posed if the Theni MP would have had the courage to identify himself with the Hindu Munnani had J Jayalalithaa been alive. It is also speculated that he is positioning himself to get inducted into the Union cabinet during the next expansion.