Wooing the people of Tamil Nadu particularly women, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the state got higher funds allocations and projects with huge investments under his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
However in his about 15 minute speech, he avoided any reference to the strong demand from state parties for setting up of a Cauvery Management Board, as directed by the Supreme Court to which Chief Minister K Palaniswami made a reference in his welcome address at a function in Chennai.
Stressing on the achievements of his government, Modi said the focus is on improving "Ease of Living" for the common citizen.
"All our schemes and programmes have been oriented towards this aim. Be it financial inclusion, easy availability of credit for farmers and small business, healthcare or sanitation, this is the basic mantra, with which the NDA Government at the Centre is working," he said.
Modi was in Chennai to launch the Tamil Nadu government's subsidised scooter scheme called 'Amma Two Wheeler Scheme' for working women as a part of 70th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
He also planted a tree sapling and inaugurated the plan to plant 70 lakh tree saplings as a part of Jayalalithaa birth anniversary celebrations in the state.
Beginning his speech in Tamil saying that he is proud to stand on the soil of great poet and freedom fighter Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi, Modi said he bows his head to Tamil culture and language.
Noting that around 9.5 lakh women in Tamil Nadu benefitted out of the Central government's free cooking gas scheme, he said that over Rs 24,000 crore worth of projects are implemented by the central government in Tamil Nadu after BJP came to power at the centre.
The Central government has sanctioned Rs 3,700 crore for the Chennai Metro Rail project, he said.
Taking a dig at the earlier Congress-led government at the centre, Modi said under the previous regime, Tamil Nadu got just Rs 81,000 crore under the 13th Finance Commission whereas under NDA regime, the state got around Rs 180,000 crore under the 14th Finance Commission allocation.
According to him, Tamil Nadu got Rs 700 crore during 2016-17 and Rs 200 crore during 2017-18 under the rural housing scheme, while for urban housing, over Rs 6,000 crore has been given to the state.
He also added that around Rs 2,600 crore has been given under the crop insurance scheme.
Referring to the long coastline, Modi said the central government has given Rs 100 crore to Tamil Nadu for converting 750 fishing boats to long-liners for deep sea fishing.
Underlining the importance of woman in a family and society, he said empowering a woman is empowering a whole family.
Over 11 crore loanshave been sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. An amount of Rs 460,000 crore has been given to people without any bank guarantee.
And most importantly, 70% of the beneficiaries are women, he added.
The Jan Dhan Yojana has also benefited women in a big way. Out of 31 crore Jan Dhan Bank Accounts,16 crore are of women, Modi said, adding that the percentage of total bank accounts held by women has gone up from 28% in 2014 to 40% now.
Modi said the women of India are coming out of their age-old shackles and seeking self- employment.
The subsidised two wheeler scheme is part of AIADMK's 2016 poll promise.
Under the scheme, the government would provide 50% subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000 for the purchase of two wheelers by working women.
Palaniswami utilised the presence of Modi on the dais and requested him to take necessary steps to set up the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee as per the apex court's order in the Cauvery river water dispute case.
Welcoming the gathering, Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam said the state government continues to follow the footsteps of Jayalalithaa.
Earlier Modi was received at the Chennai airport by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.
From the airport he went to naval base INS Adyar by a helicopter and from there he went by road to Kalaivanar Arangam where the function was held.
A large number of people had gathered on the pavement along Modi's route to Kalaivanar Arangam and greeted him.