PM Modi’s claims of insult to Uttar Pradesh, a ‘cheap tactic’ says Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin

Modi’s comment, fuelling the North-South divide, came after polling for Lok Sabha elections 2024 was completed in all 131 seats in the South.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 18, 2024 | 11:54 AMUpdatedMay 18, 2024 | 11:54 AM

MK Stalin

DMK President and Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday, 18 May, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of picking up a “cheap strategy” of stoking confrontation between states as his “propaganda of communal hatred” did not help.

Stalin slammed what he called Modi’s “imaginary tales and bags of lies” by alleging that leaders of southern states including Tamil Nadu (INDIA bloc constituents) were speaking in a derogatory manner, against the people of Uttar Pradesh.

On 16 May, PM Modi had alleged in a poll rally that the Samajwadi Party and the Congress’s southern allies insulted Uttar Pradesh and Sanatana Dharma but the two parties remained quiet.

The DMK president alleged that it was the BJP that supported and encouraged fake news items, such as the false claims made by “YouTubers like Manish Kashyap” of assault on guest workers in Tamil Nadu. Such fake claims were hate propaganda aimed at creating divisions in society.

Kashyap was arrested last year by Tamil Nadu police for alleged circulation of fake videos on “attacks” in Tamil Nadu on migrant workers hailing from Bihar. Kashyap, who had been in jail in connection with that case, joined the BJP last month.

Also Read: Polling done in southern states, PM Modi claims INDIA leaders abuse people of Uttar Pradesh in South India

What did Modi say?

Modi’s comment, fuelling the North-South divide, came after polling for Lok Sabha elections 2024 was completed in all 131 seats in the South.

“This game of the Shehzade (referring to Rahul Gandhi) is dangerous. They (INDIA bloc) seek votes here and while in South India they abuse and humiliate the people of Uttar Pradesh and use absurd language for the people of UP,” Modi said.

He also alleged that the INDIA bloc abused Sanatana Dharma.

“Their partners DMK, Left in Kerala, Congress in Karnataka and Telangana use abusive words against the people of Uttar Pradesh. Will you forgive and vote for the people of the INDI Alliance who shower abuse against the people of Uttar Pradesh?” he asked.

Stalin’s counterpart, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the same day decried the narrative. He said: “We consider Karnataka as the daughter of India. India has never discriminated against anyone, but people like Modi spew venom.”

‘Propaganda of hatred’

Stalin lashed out at Modi saying he did not speak on removing the 50 percent cap on reservation for Backward Classes and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes people, a move that will be very beneficial for the people of Uttar Pradesh. However, Modi was keen on propaganda of hatred alone, the DMK top leader alleged.

“The BJP’s divisive dreams will never come true! false narrative and hatred will be shattered, India will win,” Stalin said in a statement.

The Chief Minister said Modi was frustrated as hate propaganda has become useless and he does not have any achievements to tell the people from his ten-year tenure.

Hence, PM Modi has gone to the extent of “besmirching” welfare schemes implemented in opposition-ruled states and he has demonstrated that “he is always against the poor people.”

Stalin said the DMK government’s fare-free town bus services scheme for women has benefited them in several ways, ensuring “travel freedom,” and claimed that Modi has “started a rumour” that passenger traffic has witnessed a decline in Metrorail services.

The Dravidian party chief, citing statistics said the patronage for Chennai MetroRail (CMRL) has increased significantly and accused Modi of scuttling the CMRL phase-II expansion in the Tamil Nadu capital city by not “releasing funds” to the state as agreed by the Centre.

PM Modi has reportedly spoken in an interview on bus and the Metro rail services and whether or not he made a specific reference to Tamil Nadu is not known.

Stalin said the INDIA bloc was “racing towards victory” and accused Modi of making “propaganda of lies and hatred,” and people were witnessing “Election Commission’s silence” with shock and grief.

Also Read: Priyanka campaign sets up Gandhis’ virtual ‘grudge match’ in Amethi

(With PTI inputs)