Criticising the Congress and the DMK for being anti-woman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his campaign in Coimbatore on Tuesday, said his government's schemes had benefited the women and time has come for women to led the development.
Addressing a rally, Modi said: "The Congress and the DMK are anti-women parties. The Congress leaders have made worst statements against women."
On the DMK, Modi said the Tamil party was patriarchal. "Never forget how badly the DMK leaders treated Jayalalithaa (late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu)," he said.
Citing the free cooking gas scheme and the housing for the poor, Modi said they have benefited the women across the nation.
Harping on the women theme, he said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had increased the maternity leave to 26 weeks from 12 weeks under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
Turning to the first-time voters, Modi said, "These elections are special. My young friends born in 21st century will be taking part in democratic process for the first time," and urged them to vote for a higher cause and make the occasion memorable.
Seeking their vote for the BJP, Modi said: "Send out a message that you believe in developmental, not in divisive and dynastic politics." The 2019 Lok Sabha elections would decide India's direction in the 21st century, he added.
"These elections are a contest between pro-people NDA and anti-people opposition. The NDA promises stable government, while the opposition government will be unstable. This is a fight between our mission of serving the poor against opposition wanting to capture power," Modi claimed.
On security issues, Modi said the NDA government accorded top priority to defence and security, while the opposition lacked any plan.
Recalling the serial bomb blast that rocked Coimbatore in 1998, Modi said the people know what the Congress government at the Centre and the DMK government in Tamil Nadu did then. "Today's India is different. Anyone who dares to attack India will get a strong response. We will pay back in the same coin with compound interest," Modi remarked.
Wondering about the opposition's suspicion on the actuality of the surgical strike and the air attack on terror camps, Modi said Tamil Nadu had a special role to play in the nation's security. The defence corridor, coming up in Tamil Nadu, would attract huge investments and provide jobs, he added.
Coming back to his pet agenda, Modi asked was it a crime to be a nationalist. "I want to tell the opposition it's our nationalism that ensured that every Indian family has a bank account; that launched world's largest healthcare scheme; that motivated us to provide the electricity to over 18,000 villages; that led us to launch pension scheme for 42 crore Indians; enabled us to provide 1.5 crore homes for poor," he said.
"We were nationalists, we are nationalist and we will be nationalist. The Congress manifesto is a document that all anti-India forces were waiting for. It made all terrorists happy," the BJP leader said.
On the Congress manifesto, Modi said it didn't say a single word about middle class, and added, "A vote for that party is a vote for higher taxes." Modi said hatred of the Congress for middle class was not new as a party leader asked why the middle class was worried about price rise.
The Prime Minister said the middle class was the backbone of the country and the NDA government had kept the prices under check. "We will ensure that the hard-earned money and the talent of middle class are devoted to empowerment of India. If the Congress and allies raise your taxes, they will also destroy your culture and tradition," Modi said.