The Chennai Central Railway Station will be renamed after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an NDA political rally in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Tamil Nadu to officially launch the National Democratic Alliance’s poll campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking at a rally at Kilambakkam, in Kanchipuram district, PM Modi announced that the Chennai Central Railway Station would be renamed after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran. It is unclear however whether this change of name can be done with General Elections about to be announced any day now. The announcement was made in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, BJP state chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and Union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan.
The PM also praised MGR and said that he had visited MGR's birth place in Sri Lanka. The announcement comes at a time when the elections are just about to be announced and Modi's speech made it clear that the NDA has decided to co-opt MGR and Jayalalithaa's legacies into their election campaign.
“We are also seriously considering that flights to and from Tamil Nadu will have inflight announcements in Tamil,” he said. The promise of in-flight Tamil announcements also appears to be a bid to placate Tamil sentiment in the run-up to the Lok Sabha Elections. The BJP-led Centre has been accused multiple times of trying to impose Hindi on southern states.
This is the fourth visit of the PM to Tamil Nadu in less than 40 days. On this visit, the Prime Minister launched several schemes, and unveiled projects in roadways, railways, and energy sector worth Rs 5010 crore. Following the government event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched the National Democratic Alliance’s poll campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the same stage.
The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the BJP formalised their “mega alliance” for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections on February 19. The BJP will be contesting from five seats in the state. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who announced the alliance, said, “All parties in alliance in Tamil Nadu will work together to strengthen the National Democratic Alliance and our confidence is all 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be won by NDA in the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”