In his second visit to the state in less than three weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the grand anti-BJP alliance that has vowed to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Parliamentary polls. Calling the alliance an adulterated one to expand dynastic policies, he said that the opposition parties knew nothing of people’s poverty.
The Prime Minister was in Tirupur to inaugurate the final stretch of Chennai Metro Rail Phase I, linking Washermenpet and AG-DMS, via video conferencing. He also laid the foundation stone for a 100-bed Employees State Insurance Corp (ESIC) health facility in the district, along with flagging off a new integrated building at Trichy Airport and plans to modernise the Chennai airport. Following this, he addressed a BJP rally in the city.
In a departure from her lengthy speeches in the presence of the Prime Minister, BJP State President Tamilisai Soundararajan who spoke first, addressed the crowd for less than two minutes. The BJP’s state secretary Vanathi Srinivasan, who hails from the Kongu belt herself, quickly took her seat on the dias as Tamilisai made towards the mic. Flanked by Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and Karnataka BJP MLA CT Ravi, National Secretary H Raja fumbled as he translated the Prime Minister's speech.
Invoking the memories of freedom fighters Tirupur Kumaran and Dheeran Chinnamalai, the Prime Minister termed Tirupur the ‘land of enterprise, dedication and hard work of Kongu brothers and sisters.’ In a thinly veiled attack at former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the Prime Minister said, "There was a very wise Minister from Tamil Nadu. You know who I am talking about? The Recounting Minister. The man who thinks all the knowledge in the world is there only in his brain. In his typical arrogance, he said, why is the middle class so worried about price rise? They buy such expensive ice cream and mineral water. Mr Recounting Minister, middle class does not need the taunts by you and the Congress. They have rejected you and will continue to do so.”
He was referring to Chidambaram's comments on middle classes cribbing about price rise as they were buying mineral water for Rs 15 and ice cream for Rs 20.
Stating that parties that are now part of the grand anti-BJP alliance led by the Congress are a club of rich people, PM Modi asked, “What is the agenda of the so-called alliance? What is the issue they are fighting? Nobody knows. Because their guns are only aimed at Modi. This is adulteration and the people of Tamil Nadu know the health sector very well. Can they ever accept an adulterated product? It is a club of rich people trying to promote their dynasties. They neither understand poverty, nor they have the vision to serve the poor.”
Surprisingly, the Prime Minister invoked late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kamaraj and lifelong Congressman to say that the current central government, too, had a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption. He also remarked that much of the merchandise carrying 'NaMo again' messages were manufactured in Tirupur.