In a scathing attack against DMK and Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday alleged the parties' leaders "keep insulting women". He also pointed out that the NDA schemes are aimed at empowering women.
PM Modi was addressing an election rally in Madurai seeking votes for NDA candidates including from ally AIADMK for the April 6 Assembly polls. He said the late Chief Minister MG Ramachandran's vision for inclusive development and prosperous society "inspires us".
MGR had a special relation with southern Tamil Nadu.
We are inspired by his vision and will work to fulfil his dreams. pic.twitter.com/wJZQfVhT1A— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 2, 2021
Lashing out at the DMK and Congress, he said they had no agenda to talk about and alleged that the two parties, facing polls as allies, will not guarantee either safety or dignity for the people while the law and order situation will "suffer" under them.
"I understand that DMK and Congress have no real agenda to talk about but they should control their lies because people are not foolish," he said.
Modi said Madurai teaches about empowering 'nari shakti' (women power) and referred to the reverence and respect is shown to local deity Meenakshi Amman and popular names associated with the region like Kannagi Amman, Rani Mangammal and Velu Nachiyar.
Many schemes of the NDA including the Ujjwala scheme were aimed at empowering women.
"Our efforts in the Swachch Bharat mission, Ujjwala Yohana and other such schemes are aimed at empowering women. Sadly, the DMK and Congress have not understood the ethos of Madurai. No wonder their leaders keep insulting women again and again," he said without naming anyone.
DMK leader A Raja had earlier courted controversy for making alleged disparaging remarks against Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami's mother during an election rally, drawing criticism.
Taking note of a complaint from the ruling AIADMK, the Election Commission had on Thursday barred Raja from campaigning for 48 hours and also removed him from his party's list of star campaigners for the polls.
Further targeting the DMK, Modi alleged it tried to make the peace-loving Madurai a "mafia den" due to family issues earlier, referring to the then squabble in the party's first family involving brothers MK Stalin and MK Alagiri.
"DMK and Cong will not guarantee either safety or dignity for you. The law and order situation will suffer under them. DMK tried to make a peace-loving Madurai a mafia den just because of family complications in DMK first family," Modi said.
Slamming DMK and Congress over the bull-taming sport jallikattu, Modi said it was banned in 2011 by the Congress-led UPA, with the Dravidian party being in "big ministries" in the Centre.
"Congress and DMK keep showing themselves to be the only protectors of Tamil culture but fact suggests something else."
"In 2011, the UPA was in power and DMK was in big ministries. The same UPA government banned jallikattu. One UPA leader described jallikattu as a barbaric practice. Really?
Is that the word you use for something that is part of the Tamil culture for centuries," Modi asked.
He recalled the TNCC's poll promise in 2016 calling for a ban on jallikattu and said "Congress and DMK should be ashamed of themselves."
When in 2016-17 the people of Tamil Nadu wanted a solution and wanted jallikattu to continue, "I could sense their pain," Modi said.
"Our government cleared an ordinance brought by the AIADMK government for jallikattu to take place," he said.
Accusing the Congress and DMK of having "mastered the art of not working and then spreading the lies about those who work," he said the classic example was the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) sanctioned for Madurai.
"In many years in power, Congress and DMK did not even think about it. It was our government that brought AIIMS here. I assure you all this project will be completed as per proper processes," he said.
Recalling the late MG Ramachandran, founder of his alliance party AIADMK, Modi said that his democratically elected government was dismissed by Congress in 1980 but when elections were held again, he won from Madurai West.
"The people of Madurai stood behind him like a rock. In 1977, 1980, 1984 MGR won from places around this region. His vision for an inclusive and prosperous society inspires us," the PM said.
Pointing out that his government was working with the aim of ensuring inclusive growth, Modi said it wanted to focus on Tamil Nadu, especially the southern parts, in the areas of infrastructure, irrigation, investment.
He recalled his August 15 speech last year from the Red Fort saying the government was going to spend Rs 100 lakh crore on the creation of next-generation infrastructure.
This will cater to the needs of not only present but also future generations, he said.
There has been a 238 per cent increase in fund allocation for railway infrastructure projects in Tamil Nadu compared to 2009.
Many big projects have been completed in the last seven years and in the coming years, "we want better metro, road, rail and air connectivity," he said.
He recalled the government proposing seven textile parks in this year's budget.
On the categorisation of seven communities under the Devendra Kula Velallar, he charged the DMK and Congress with doing nothing on the matter but said it was another example of their "all lies no work attitude."
"They preferred to keep the issue hanging for several long decades. It was the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu and the BJP-led government in Centre that worked to ensure dignity for the Devendra Kula Vellalar community," he said.
Modi also recalled the various reforms that have ensured ease of doing business, initiatives related to water supply and in the digital sphere.
(With PTI Inputs)