PM Modi takes out roadshow in Chennai; CM Stalin alleges PM comes to Tamil Nadu only for votes

"Is Tamil Nadu a bird sanctuary for the Prime Minister to visit during election season" CM MK Stalin asked.


Published Apr 10, 2024 | 12:02 PMUpdatedApr 10, 2024 | 12:02 PM

PM Modi in Chennai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, 9 April, took out a well-attended roadshow in the city’s T Nagar locality, ahead of the 19 April Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.

Later in a series of posts on X, the Prime Minister said the roadshow in the city would remain a part of his memory forever and that Chennai had won him over.

“Chennai has won me over! Today’s roadshow in this dynamic city will remain a part of my memory forever. The blessings of the people give me strength to keep working hard in your service and to make our nation even more developed. The enthusiasm in Chennai also shows that Tamil Nadu is all set to support NDA in a big way,” he said.

“I assure my sisters and brothers of Chennai that our Government will keep working for the welfare of this vibrant city. Over the last few years, I have come here very often to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for key projects which will boost ‘Ease of Living.’ At the root of this is connectivity.”

Ground Report: Chennai South is a prestigious battle for Dravidian parties

Centre’s projects

He also said recently, the new integrated terminal building at Chennai airport was inaugurated. In the coming times, railway stations here including Egmore Station are going to be redeveloped.

He said, thanks to Vande Bharat Express, connectivity between Chennai-Coimbatore and Chennai-Mysuru had also been enhanced.

“The Chennai Metro network is being expanded, thus helping the professionals working in the city. Key road projects like the Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway and the expansion of other existing road projects will improve commerce and connectivity,” he added.

Hitting out at the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, he said the party had done nothing much for the city. “For years, DMK took votes from the people of Chennai but did nothing much for the city. DMK is busy furthering corruption and family rule. Their MPs are not accessible to the people, particularly whenever the times are challenging,” Modi said.

“The recent public information on the Katchatheevu surrender point to how Congress and DMK were complicit in harming our strategic interests and the well-being of our fishermen and fisherwomen. No wonder this time, Chennai is all set to reject DMK and Congress,” he wrote.

In another post, he said, “Our Government accords topmost respect to Tamil culture. I felt so proud that I got an opportunity to speak a few words in Tamil language at the UN! We will continue to make Tamil culture and language popular at the world stage. Two years ago, the Central Institute of Classical Tamil was inaugurated which will further popularise aspects of Tamil culture.”

About the housing sector, PM Modi said remarkable work is underway. “Lakhs of houses have been built across Tamil Nadu under PM-Awas Yojana. Some time ago, many houses built as a part of the Light House Project were inaugurated thus giving wings to several aspirations.”

“Our government is also working on projects like a Multi-Modal Logistics Park and a Discovery Campus at IIT-Madras, which will boost business as well as innovation,” he added.

Noting that the NDA Government will keep working in sectors like roads, ports, urban transportation, culture, commerce, connectivity, energy and more, the Prime Minister said, “At the same time, we will address key issues in Chennai like strengthening the disaster management apparatus, which makes us better prepared when calamities like floods strike. We will also keep supporting the MSME sector, a vital pillar of economic growth.”

The roadshow

The Prime Minister was joined by BJP state president K Annamalai and the saffron party’s candidates for South Chennai, Central Chennai and North Chennai parliamentary segments during the roadshow.

Tamilisai Soundararajan has been fielded from South Chennai while Vinoj P Selvam and RC Paul Kanagaraj are the party’s picks from Central Chennai and North Chennai, respectively.

Dressed in a white shirt and the traditional ‘veshti’ (dhoti) and ‘angavastram’ (shawl), the PM stood atop a decorated car and waved at his supporters who lined up on either side of the road. Modi also carried a small cutout of the BJP’s symbol, the Lotus.

The 2km roadshow—from Panagal Park to Teynampet here took about 45 minutes and the PM was seen constantly smiling and waving at the people, many of whom raised “Bharat Mata ki jai” and “Modi, Modi” slogans to greet the leader. Many were seen carrying placards in support of the BJP and the PM.

Eager supporters also showered flower petals on the Prime Minister.

Cultural events, including a nadaswaram (a wind instrument) recital was staged.

Also Read: ‘Surrender’ on Katchatheevu shows complicity of Congress and DMK: PM Modi

Other rallies

After an overnight stay in Chennai, Modi will address election rallies in Vellore, near Chennai and Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district on Wednesday in support of NDA candidates, including Annamalai, union minister L Murugan and Soumya Anbumani of ally PMK.

Elections to 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, besides the lone Puducherry segment, will be held on 19 April and the saffron party is hopeful of putting up a better electoral show, although it has no members in the outgoing House.

BJP is leading a non-DMK, non-AIADMK bloc and its constituents include the Pattali Makkal Katchi and former union minister GK Vasan-led Tamil Maanila Congress-Moopanar.

While Annamalai is contesting from Coimbatore, Soumya, wife of PMK president and Rajya Sabha MP, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, is fighting from Dharmapuri.

The PM, according to Annamalai earlier, is likely to visit the state again after 12 April for electioneering.

‘Only for votes’

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with visiting the state only during the poll season and accused him of utilising the central agencies to target the opposition-ruled states.

The situation was similar in most of the non-BJP-ruled states across the country where the central agencies and even the Governors created trouble to state governments. “This is Modi’s India,” Stalin said addressing an election rally in Madurai, in support of the DMK candidates and its allies.

“Is Tamil Nadu a bird sanctuary for the Prime Minister to visit during election season? Why so much malice? Aren’t Tamils citizens of this country?” Stalin asked.

He said the DMK was not an antagonist of Hindus but had carried out numerous initiatives through the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department.

“I am asking for your votes with pride over the many achievements of the Dravidian model of governance in these three years,” Stalin, who is the president of DMK, 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.)