Moments before addressing party workers at Perumanallur near Tirupur, which has a sizable north Indian migrant population, Modi had shared the dais with chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to lay the foundation for a few projects and inaugurate a few others across the state through videoconferencing. The two leaders shared a warm bonhomie on stage and met again at the Coimbatore airport, setting off a fresh round of speculation about an alliance. Modi’s second visit in a fortnight to Tamil Nadu came as a morale booster for BJP workers who turned up in large numbers, some with their families, at the public meeting.
Taking a dig at political parties that are joining hands to oppose BJP, Modi questioned if they had any agenda for people welfare. “They say Modi government is a failure. But they are forming a big alliance to defeat Modi,” he said.
Terming the opposition parties coming together as ‘maha milavat’, adulterated club of the rich joining hands to promote their dynasties, Modi said the people of Tamil Nadu and India would reject them.
Facing criticism on the Rafale deal, Modi sought to turn the tables on his rivals, saying it was the Congress which was associated with several scams in the defence sector while the BJP got rid of corruption. “For them this sector was only about brokering deals and helping their own set of friends. From the seas to skies, Congress has several scams associated with defence. In the process the party did not allow modernisation of defence forces for the long years it was in power,” he said.
NDA runs govt with zero tolerance for corruption: Modi
BJP dreams of an India that is self-sufficient in defence production, he said. Hence his government had taken a path-breaking step of creating two defence corridors, one of which was in TN, which would bring industries and investment opportunities to Tamil Nadu’s youth.
Taking a dig at opposition parties, he sought to draw a parallel between ‘family packs’ in ice creams and bail applications, a reference to opposition leaders and their family members facing cases.
Modi singled out former finance minister P Chidambaram for attack, without naming him, calling him ‘Mr Recounting Minister’ – a reference to how Chidambaram won by a narrow margin in 2009 after a recount of votes.
Modi said the good work by the NDA government had made some people unhappy. “Those who thought power was their divine right are disturbed because here is a government which is working. Their unhappiness has become desperation and abuse,” he said. Much of his 20-minute speech was targeted against the Congress. Modi also sought to invoke the name of the late Congress stalwart K Kamaraj. “NDA runs the government the way late Kamaraj wanted, with zero tolerance towards corruption,” he said.