Narendra Modi blows poll bugle in Madurai, defends economically weaker sections quota

The Prime Minister was speaking at a public meeting in Madurai after laying the foundation stone for AIIMS.
Narendra Modi blows poll bugle in Madurai, defends economically weaker sections quota
Narendra Modi blows poll bugle in Madurai, defends economically weaker sections quota
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at a public meeting in Madurai on Sunday was peppered with the NDA government’s achievements, future plans and defence of 10% reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections in the general category. He was speaking at a public meeting organised in Madurai, adjacent to the site of the upcoming All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

With the General Elections just months away, his speech largely centred on the many infrastructure projects that have come up and that are in the pipeline for the state with an emphasis for employment opportunities for the youth, created by the central government.

NDA’s schemes for Tamil Nadu

At a time when the state has seen a lot of opposition to, and problems arising out of, the NEET entrance exam for medical admissions, Narendra Modi said at his Madurai rally that his government wants to establish one government medical college in every three Lok Sabha constituencies. “This is not only helping to improve medical facilities, but also providing avenues of education and employment for youth,” he said.  

PM Narendra Modi also spoke about his government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. “Rural sanitation has improved from 38% in 2014 to 98% today,” he claimed, “We have built more than 9 crore toilets in this period, out of which 47 lakh have been made in TN alone.”

Infrastructure push

Stating that the Union government is developing basic infrastructure in line with the needs of the 21st century, Modi said that the focus is on improving all forms of connectivity. “In last 4.5 years 35,000 kms of new highways have been built. The speed of highway construction and laying of railway lines have doubled,” he said.  

Adding that a work to connect Rameswaram and Pamban with Dhanushkodi has begun, Modi said that a new Pamban bridge will also come up in the region soon. Highlighting the introduction of the new Tejas train connecting Madurai and Chennai and the building of 10 smart cities in the state, Modi said that greater infrastructure and connectivity are essential for job creation. He also spoke about making Thoothukudi port a transhipment hub in South India.

Industrial development

“Tamil Nadu has been India’s one of the most progressive industrial states. It is now one of the leading states in our Make in India initiative. It shall be also be one of the pioneering states for the defence industrial corridor,” he emphasised. Stating that the Union government’s aim is to make Tamil Nadu the preferred hub for aerospace and defence industries in India, Modi said that this push would be in the areas of engineering, design, manufacturing and allied activities.

Citing that all the new industries in the state would up the employment opportunities to the youth, Modi said it was with this spirit that the decision to provide 10% reservation for general category was taken. “This decision has been taken in such a way that it does not impact Dalits, tribals and OBCs who are already availing the benefits of reservation. It is unfortunate that an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is being created by a few people in Tamil Nadu to serve their own selfish interests. I ask you all to remain vigilant against such negativity,” he implored.

In another move which can be construed as one aimed at the upcoming elections, Modi spoke about the demands of the Devendra Kula Vellalar community and assured justice for them.

Focus on corruption

Emphasising that the Union government is taking steps to address the issues of corruption and nepotism in India, Modi said that anybody who has cheated or looted the country shall be brought to book. “This is regardless of whether he is in India or abroad,” he added.

Taking a jibe at the United India rally which was held recently in Kolkata, Modi claimed that the fear of his government rooting out corruption is why all others are coming together. “They say that keeping all other considerations aside, they must remove this watchman (himself). However big a group they form out of fear and negativity, Narendra Modi will stand firmly with the poor and I call upon people of Madurai and youth of Tamil Nadu to reject forces of negativity,” he said. 

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