‘Yuvraj’ couldn’t save Amethi seat, came to Kerala: Modi’s swipe at Rahul Gandhi

At the Tirunelveli rally in Tamil Nadu, Modi labeled Congress and the DMK as 'sinners' over ceding of Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka.

ByPTI

Published Apr 16, 2024 | 3:10 PM Updated Apr 16, 2024 | 3:10 PM

Modi in Kerala. (X)

In a hard-hitting attack against the Congress and the CPI(M), Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, 15 April, said the “yuvraj” of the grand old party could not protect his family’s seat in Uttar Pradesh and has come to Kerala to seek votes, and accused the Left party of looting the poor in the state.

There is around ₹1 lakh crore deposited in 300 cooperative banks in the state by the poor, working class, women, and those who have returned from the Gulf countries, Modi said and alleged that this money was at “risk due to the corruption of the CPI(M)”.

During his public meeting at Kunnamkulam in Alathur Lok Sabha constituency, Modi raked up the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank scam and said that it was he who initiated a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the scam and now, he was taking legal advice on how the money of the depositors could be returned from the amounts seized by the agencies.

He assured that everything possible will be done to provide assistance to affected people and said that the BJP candidate from Alathur constituency, TN Sarasu, had recently brought to his attention the plight of those suffering as a result of depositing money in the cooperative bank.

This is Modi’s sixth visit to the state. He had last come on 19 March to Kerala, which is going to polls on 26 April.

Asserting that more was yet to be done for Kerala and the nation’s progress, Modi said that what was witnessed in the last decade of BJP-led NDA rule was merely a trailer as he solicited the support of the southern state for the alliance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Modi, in his speech, also expressed confidence that Kerala will ensure its voice is heard in Parliament after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The Prime Minister also promised that once the NDA government comes back to power for the third time, it will commence survey work to ensure bullet trains in north, east, and south India, on lines of Ahmedabad and Mumbai service.

Modi’s attack on Rahul Gandhi

Without taking the name of Rahul Gandhi, who was also campaigning in his constituency Wayanad in the state, Modi said the Congress’ “yuvraj” (prince) could not protect his family’s seat in Uttar Pradesh — a reference to the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency which was a Congress bastion for years — and came to Kerala to seek votes.

Modi said the Congress leader will seek votes from the people of Kerala but will not raise his voice in their interests, as he was silent on the multi-crore scam in the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank controlled by the state’s ruling CPI(M).

Addressing the massive election meetings in Kerala, Modi also hit out at the Opposition bloc INDIA, alleging that corrupt individuals were forming alliances to stop him, but he was not intimidated by them.

Modi said the Congress party had labelled members of the Left party as “terrorists”.

“However, in the political landscape of Delhi, the Congress and these purported terrorists are seen engaging in collaborative discussions, sharing meals, and crafting election strategies together,” he said.

He also criticised the Congress over the support offered by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political arm of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), for the Lok Sabha elections.

The Prime Minister alleged it was a “back-door agreement” between the Congress and the SDPI, which was the political wing of an organisation banned in India for anti-national activities.

Also Read: Congress will protect all; BJP, RSS trying to destroy India’s diversity: Rahul Gandhi

Modi’s attack on the Left

Modi also continued his attack on the ruling Left in the state by raking up the gold smuggling case, corruption allegations against the Kerala Chief Minister, and the law and order situation in the southern state.

Raising the issue of the financial woes of Kerala, Modi blamed it on the Left administration’s alleged rampant corruption and mismanagement.

“The state’s public coffers have been depleted, leaving the government unable to fulfill its obligation to pay salaries to its employees,” he alleged.

He asserted that those embroiled in numerous scandals and shielding gold smugglers cannot ensure the state’s welfare and urged Kerala to liberate itself from the grip of corrupt administrations.

The Prime Minister said the Supreme Court has turned down Kerala’s request for additional borrowing, attributing the state’s financial woes to its own mismanagement.

Kerala stands accountable for its fiscal troubles, with both the LDF and UDF administrations being accused of contributing to the state’s decline, he said.

He further claimed that the southern state was in the news lately for the political killings in the state and the offences against women, all of which were the outcome of years of ineffective rule by the Congress and the Left.

Modi also blamed the LDF and UDF for the Varkala and Nedumangad areas of Thiruvananthapuram allegedly becoming dens of drug mafias where narcotics were openly sold.

“Violence and anarchy are common in Kerala. Political murders are carried out here. College campuses have become dens of anti-social movements. Our children are not safe,” he alleged in Alathur in the morning.

Both the Left and the Congress were the same, as they “were against development, competed with each other in matters of corruption, and both have been rejected by the people”, he said.

“The Left has only one character, be it Tripura, West Bengal, or Kerala; nothing left and nothing right. Meaning that where the Left is in power, there is nothing left, and nothing good happens there. What they did in West Bengal and Tripura, they are doing in Kerala also,” he alleged in Alathur.

Also Read: Constitutional institutions not personal property of PM Modi, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress, DMK ‘sinners’

In his rally in Tirunelveli that marked the conclusion of his campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made a Tamil-centric pitch, reiterating setting up Thiruvalluvar centres and labeled Congress and the DMK as “sinners” over ceding of Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka.

Outlining the features of his party’s manifesto that was released on 14 April, he referred to Thiruvalluvar centres, bullet train in south India and promotion of pearl farming. Reiterating his commitment for Viksit Bharat, he said Viksit Tamil Nadu has become a mission in this election.

He was campaigning for BJP candidates Nainar Nagendran (Tirunelveli), Pon Radhakrishnan (Kanniyakumari) and Radhika Sarathkumar (Virudhunagar), besides ally John Pandian of the Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, who is contesting from Tenkasi (SC) in the 19 April elections.

The party manifesto has given importance to Tamil language. “Will work to bring Tamil Nadu’s heritage sights on the global tourist map. BJP is resolved to set up, all over the world, Thiruvalluvar Cultural centres,” he said.

Modi dubbed the DMK and Congress, “anti-national” and said the entire country has now understood the “truth”, that they had given Katchatheevu islet to another country (Sri Lanka) after “cutting it off” from Tamil Nadu.

Not only did they keep “the people of Tamil Nadu in the dark, they told lies to them and committed a sin behind the scenes”, Modi alleged.

“Our fishermen brothers get the punishment for the sins of the DMK and Congress,” he said, in an apparent reference to the frequent arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lanka.

This “sin” of theirs remained hidden for four decades and it is the BJP that unravelled the truth and brought it to the attention of the people, he claimed. Following this, the DMK and Congress have just “gone silent”, he alleged.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi’s TN visit has trumped Modi’s poll campaign: Stalin

BJP, not DMK for TN development

Modi then went on to slam the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu over the alleged corruption and drug menace in the state.

He also accused the DMK of insulting the legacy of late chief minister MG Ramachandran (MGR) and said the Dravidian party had “ill treated” late AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa in the state Assembly, alluding to the unruly scenes in the House in 1989.

The BJP, however, works to take forward the dreams of leaders like MGR in Tamil Nadu.

The “thought process” of DMK and Congress is that of hatred towards Tamil culture and they want to end Tamil identity and the Tamil heritage. “Be it Sengol, Jallikattu, you all saw how DMK and Congress opposed them.”

BJP is working for Tamil Nadu’s development as it respects Tamil Nadu’s heritage and takes inspiration from that. “Our inspiration is VO Chidambaram Pillai who dreamt of the country’s Atmanirbharta (self reliance).”

The BJP’s role model is the patriotic and honest K Kamaraj, former chief minister.

“That is why BJP bats for honest politics in Tamil Nadu. BJP ensures the progress of Tamil Nadu’s youth but the family-run parties of Congress and DMK left no stone unturned to insult Kamaraj.”

Women of Tamil Nadu are “blessing Modi” and it is because of a string of initiatives of the Union government, including the Jal Jeevan Mission (1.25 crore have piped water connections), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (12 lakh houses) and Ujjwala scheme (over 40 lakh gas connections). He also referred to the defence corridor implementation in the state.

Also Read: Lok Sabha polls: North Chennai seeks infra push, flooding a major cause of worry

BJP for Tamil culture

In an attempt to appeal to the cultural sensibilities of the people of the state, Modi pointed out that the BJP had released its manifesto on the day of Tamil New Year.

“We worked day and night for Tamil Nadu’s development in the past 10 years,” Modi told the people gathered there, and

recalled the launch of Vande Bharat express between Chennai and Tirunelveli which benefited people in this region and also increased the pace of development.

Recalling the bravery and sacrifices of iconic freedom fighters of southern Tamil Nadu including Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, he said they wanted the nation to become powerful and prosperous.

“Today when we reply to India’s enemies in their own language, then the dreams of these great people are fulfilled”.

He exhorted them to vote for the saffron party, saying, “for those who love Tamil language and culture, their first choice is the BJP,” and so is the case with those who love the country.

Tamil Nadu is witnessing “corruption and scam” of family run parties. “Not just this, these people are pushing your children into the hell of drugs.” Everywhere in Tamil Nadu, the poison of drugs has spread, he alleged. “Whose protection does this drug mafia enjoy? Even a child knows.”

Parents are seeing their children’s life getting destroyed but before powerful people they are helpless. “I want to give you the confidence — with your blessings, Modi will fight the corrupt and the drug mafia.”

He charged the Congress and DMK with having issues left to seek votes. “They have an old tape recorder with an oft-beaten negative agenda. People of Tamil Nadu have realised that they (the two parties) can neither implement their promises nor protect Tamil Nadu’s culture,” Modi said.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)