Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, amid expectations that her party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will join the Union government.
National Democratic Alliance (NDA), headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), recently formed the government at the Centre.
In a press release, the Tamil Nadu state government said that Jayalalithaa will meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi and submit memorandum of demands, pertaining to the state's development works.
During her capital visit, Jayalalithaa is also expected to meet the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and discuss her party's willingness to join the government.
It is reported that Jaitley had called up the Tamil Nadu CM and discussed some of the issues pertaining to Tamil Nadu. Jayalalithaa had raised the issues with Modi, soon after he took over as PM on 26 May.
Media reports speculate that when Jaya meets with Modi on Tuesday, the NDA may give a final shape to its plan, to involve AIADMK in the coalition government at the Centre.
Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK is the third largest party in the country after BJP and Congress. AIADMK won 37 seats out of 39 in Tamil Nadu, while Congress won just 44 seats throughout the country.
Now, AIADMK is expected to join the Modi-led NDA government at the Centre. In fact, the Tamil Nadu political party was once a coalition partner in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
But Jayalalithaa withdrew her support to the NDA government in 1999, making it last for just 13 months. However, fresh elections were held and NDA got the majority of 303 seats and returned to power with Vajpayee as the Prime Minister for the third time.
For the NDA government, more support at the Centre is essential as the government needs non-Congress parties' support to pass bills in the 240-member Rajya Sabha, where the NDA coalition is a minority with just 64 seats.
Apart from the 37 MP-strength in Lok Sabha, Jayalalithaa's AIADMK has 10 MPs in Rajya Sabha as well. So the NDA government will seek the Dravidian party's support in Rajya Sabha. In turn, Jayalalithaa is to demand financial support for her state's development schemes.
It is also understood that senior BJP leaders and Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravishankar Prasad are in touch with Jayalalithaa, seeking her party's alliance.
Meanwhile, DMDK leader Vijayakanth, an ally of BJP in Tamil Nadu, has also urged Modi to constitute a committee to monitor the implementation of development and welfare schemes in Tamil Nadu. Such a committee should have representatives from TN, the Centre and the Opposition, the former actor stressed.
360 More 'Amma Canteens' in Tamil Nadu
In another development, Jayalalithaa announced on Sunday that her government will open 360 more "Amma Canteens" in the state's urban centres.
The Chief Minister made the order a day after an Egyptian delegation visited the state and praised the canteens, where people are being served quality food at subsidized prices.
Such canteens are already functioning in each ward of the Chennai city corporation. With the addition of a further 360 canteens, the total number of the eateries will become 654.