In his first public event in Tamil Nadu since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forged an alliance with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Opposition parties accusing them of putting national security at risk.
Addressing a sea of supporters of the BJP and the AIADMK in Kancheepuram on Wednesday, the PM said that the opposition now competes within itself on who can abuse Modi the most.
“The careless conduct of the opposition on national security is very well known. Guided by politics and selfish interests, they neither want a strong India nor strong armed forces,” the PM said.
“Modi hatred among the opposition is reaching new levels daily. They have a competition – who will abuse Modi most,” added Modi.
Referring to a Congress leader’s controversial remarks, the PM said, “Now one Congress leader talks of killing Modi. But I want to tell them I am not bothered about their threats and abuses. I am here to do my work.”
Belur Gopalakrishna, a former MLA from Karnataka, had said that the Prime Minister should be killed. He had reportedly issued the statement at a Congress party event in Shivamogga district on 4 February. The video of the same went viral on social media on Tuesday.
In a swipe at the Gandhi family, the PM said that decisions of his government are not taken by “high command”.
“Our decisions are not taken by a high command in Delhi. The people of India are our high command,” the PM said in English as the crowds cheered.
“The people of Tamil Nadu will never forget how one family insulted K. Kamaraj. What was Kamaraj Ji’s crime? His crime was he spoke for the people and for democracy. He challenged the corrupt and dictator-like practices of one family,” he added.
Highlighting the work done by his government at the Centre, the PM said that NDA’s track record shows that it is best placed to fulfil regional aspirations.
At Kancheepuram, which has a strong weaver community, PM Modi said that his government has released a subsidy of more than Rs 7,000 crores to the weavers of the country.
“The bond of humanity is bigger than all bonds. Whenever any Tamil person has faced a problem, anywhere in India or the world, we have been at the fore-front to help,” the PM said in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and other leaders of the newly-formed alliance.
The PM also hailed AIADMK founder and former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran as well as J Jayalalitha.
The PM announced that the Chennai Central Station will be renamed after MG Ramachandran.
“We are also seriously thinking about ensuring that flights to and from Tamil Nadu have in-flight announcements in Tamil language,” he said as the crowd broke into an applause.
The PM also inaugurated the Dr MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women in Kancheepuram and launched the Ennore LNG Terminal.
The BJP and the AIADMK announced the formation of an alliance on 19 February to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to reporters at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that the BJP will be contesting five Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu.
“BJP will contest on five seats in Lok Sabha elections and we will be contesting together in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,” he told reporters.
Speaking on behalf of BJP, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that his party will support AIADMK in the by-elections on 21 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu.