Talking to media after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi, Panneerselvam said that no political issues were discussed during the meeting.
Modi sought to bring reformist Deshmukh at par with other icons - Jayaprakash Narayan and Hindutva ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya. The event was organised by the Ministry of Rural Development. This is the first meeting of any top AIADMK leader with the Prime Minister since the merger of the two factions of the party - one led by Panneerselvam and another by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. He said the desired results can be achieved through good governance.
Referring to efforts being made to end the practice of open defecation, he said an increasing number of villages are now naming toilets as "izzat ghar" (house of honour) as women do not have to relieve themselves in the open anymore. There should be no dilution or diversion from the spirit it was conceived.
Modi added that if the villages have 24-hour power and water supply and were connected with optical cable for Internet, teachers, doctors and bureaucrats will come forward on their own to work there. He said that by now electricity has reached in over 15,000 of those villages. "At that time, standing shoulder to shoulder with him was Nanaji Deshmukh, who took the blow to protect him", Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi will visit an exhibition on the theme "technology and rural life".
He added that the "facilities that are associated with cities must also be made available to our villages". He will launch a portal for coordination and monitoring of development works at the district level. He will then inaugurate a Plant Phenomics Facility of IARI.