Amit Shah sounds poll bugle for Lok Sabha elections, appeals to Tamil pride amidst power-outage politics

The Union Home Minister said the BJP and its allies will secure not less than 25 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Jun 12, 2023 | 9:09 AMUpdatedJun 12, 2023 | 9:09 AM

Amit Shah sounds poll bugle for Lok Sabha elections, appeals to Tamil pride amidst power-outage politics

Sounding the poll bugle for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Union Home Minister and BJP bigwig Amit Shah tried to whip up the Tamil pride at Vellore on Sunday, 11 June.

Addressing a public rally, Shah lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for recognising the richness of the ancient Tamil language by giving it due recognition at international platforms.

He also credited Modi with enabling candidates to write the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and CRPF exams in Tamil.

Terming the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ruling at at the Centre as “corruption-free”, Shah accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of having swindled ₹12,000 crore through corrupt means.

DMK was a constituent of the UPA, he reminded the crowd.

Also read: Separating facts from fiction on the Adheenam Sengol 

Shah wields Sengol again

Stating that a Sengol —  the sceptre from Tamil Nadu —  has been installed at the new Parliament building, Shah said, the BJP would form the government at the Center for the third time in 2024.

“In Tamil Nadu, the BJP allies will secure not less than 25 Lok Sabha seats. Further, more MPs from Tamil Nadu will become Union ministers,” he said, terming the Sengol, the pride of Tamil Nadu.

Shah also said Modi has been projecting the richness and pride of the Tamil language globally during his foreign visits.

“By conducting the ‘Tamil Sangamam’ programmes in Gujarat and Saurashtra, Modi had shown his love for the Tamil language. During the ‘Tamil Sangamam’ held in Varanasi, the Tirukkural was translated into 23 different languages,” Shah said.

Also read: Tamil Nadu moves Supreme Court challenging validity of NEET

Shah accepts Stalin’s challenge

On Saturday, Chief Minister MK Stalin challenged the BJP leader to point out a single project that the Union government had implemented in Tamil Nadu over the past nine years.

He was addressing a party meeting in Salem earlier in the day.

Taking up the challenge, Shah listed the various development projects that were implemented in the state. He said that in the past nine years, the Union government had allocated ₹2,47,000 crore for the development of Tamil Nadu.

He stated that ₹58,000 crore were allotted for national highway projects, and in the past two years, new highways worth ₹2,352 crore were constructed. He also referred to the ₹72,000 crore allotted for the first and second phases of the Chennai Metro Rail project.

Shah also listed out the new railway schemes implemented in Tamil Nadu: The introduction of Vande Bharat Express services between Chennai-Coimbatore and Chennai-Mysore. Construction works worth ₹1,260 crore were being carried out at the Chennai International Airport, he noted.

Questioning the Congress-DMK alliance for not bringing an AIIMS multi-specialty hospital to Tamil Nadu when in power for 10 years, Shah said that the construction work for Madurai AIIMS has begun and the students were already pursuing their courses.

He also said that BJP will secure more than 300 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Also read: What EPS-Amit Shah meet says about AIADMK-BJP ties

Power outage creates flutter 

On Saturday, power went off when Shah walked towards party cadres waiting for him outside the Chennai airport. The power outage also affected the GST Road through which the minister’s convoy was to make its way to the city.

BJP workers gathered on either side of the road and protested against the outage and laid siege to the road, affecting the vehicular traffic on the Chennai airport road for almost two hours.

The leaders who gathered outside the airport said that the power cut looked like a planned and deliberate attempt by the ruling DMK.

The BJP’s Mahila Morcha president and Coimbatore South MLA Vanathi Srinivasan demanded a probe into the “deliberate” power outage.

Also read: Will resist all Hindi imposition efforts, says Stalin

DMK, power board deny BJP charge

Refuting the BJP charge, DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said the power outage was not deliberate. He said the BJP was trying to politicise the issue.

Rajesh Lakhani, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board said that there was a power outage at 9.34 pm due to a technical failure at the Porur substation which supplies power to Poonamallee KK Nagar and St Thomas Mount.

He also inspected the substation and cleared the power outage within 20 minutes. Lakhani said a report would be submitted regarding the issue.