Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the renaming of Chennai Central railway station after AIADMK founder and former Tamil Nadu chief minister late M G Ramachandran (MGR).
Modi also said his government was seriously thinking of ensuring that announcements in flights to and from Tamil Nadu are made in the Tamil language.
He said MGR had worked extensively for the downtrodden and his social welfare schemes gave strength to the fight against poverty.
The announcements came at an election rally in Kilambakkam in neighbouring Kancheepuram district, where Modi spoke in the presence of BJP’s allies for the Lok Sabha elections — chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, both from the AIADMK, Ramadoss and PMK’s S Ramadoss and Anbumani Ramadoss, N Rangasamy of AINR Congress, among others.
The Prime Minister mentioned IAF’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was captured and returned by Pakistani forces after he lost his aircraft during an aerial dogfight with Pakistani airforce jets along the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Asserting that his government has been at the forefront to help any Tamil person facing person, Modi said, “The whole world knows the inspiring episode of Abhinandan.”
However, he did not divulge more on the matter, saying he did not want to repeat it, but referred to the release and return of Christian priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar, caught by terrorists in Afghanistan and kept in captivity for 8 months, and 1,900 Tamil fishermen held by Sri Lanka.
‘BJP only party which can fulfil regional aspirations’
Speaking at the rally, Modi said BJP was the only party that could fulfil regional aspirations and stated that people of the country are its high command.
Hitting out at the Congress and grand alliance, he accused them of being guided by selfish interests and ‘family first’ policy and taking decisions in AC rooms and not in villages of Tamil Nadu.
“Opposition parties are guided by selfish interests. They neither want a strong India nor a strong armed force,” he said.
Modi noted that people of Tamil Nadu will never forget how “one family” insulted former Tamil Nadu chief minister K Kamaraj, a Congress stalwart, several times, as his crime was that he spoke for the people and “challenged the corrupt and dictator-like practices of one family”.
He recalled that “emergency imposer” Congress had dismissed “the democratically elected government of MGR” only because of political differences.
Congress had during its time in power abused Article 356 of the Constitution and the Indira Gandhi government had dismissed 50 regional governments, including the DMK.
“But for the DMK, opportunism has prevailed over values,” he said, referring to the DMK’s alliance with Congress in Tamil Nadu for the Lok Sabha elections.
He said Modi hatred among opposition is reaching new levels and there was a competition among them.
“Someone will abuse me, someone will mock my poverty, then someone will abuse my family, and someone will abuse my lower caste origins. One Congress leader wants to kill me,” he said.
But, Modi said, he was not bothered about threats and abuses. “I am here to do my work to make India strong and prosperous. Every drop of blood in my veins and every breath I take every second of my time is for India and its 130 crore Indians.”