July 06 2020
PM uses speech to make connections
07 March 2019

Peppers it with references to Kancheepuram, MGR and Tamils in Sri Lanka

BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s half-hour speech at the launch of the AIADMK-led front’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in the State on Wednesday was peppered with Tamil flavour.

Characteristic of his speeches in the past, Mr. Modi gave an elaborate account of how the Central government had been providing assistance to Tamil Nadu for infrastructure development. This time, he covered a few more aspects such as the status of a housing project for Tamils of recent Indian origin in Sri Lanka and rescue mission of Tamils struck in west Asia and Afghanistan.

Conscious of the fact that the venue of the public meeting was located in Kancheepuram district, Mr. Modi began his speech, quoting Sanskrit poet Kalidas’ description of Kancheepuram as the best among cities. He went on to say how Kancheepuram occupied the pride of place for being a hub of weaving. He pointed out that of over two lakh power looms upgraded in the country, Tamil Nadu accounted for about 1.2 lakh looms. Referring to his position as a representative of Varanasi, another culturally-important place, he said, “Today, Member of Parliament from Kashi [Varanasi] has come to Kancheepuram.”

He spoke of his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015 and reminded the audience that he was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Jaffna in the Tamil-majority Northern Province. He said he had visited [Kandy] the place of birth of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder M.G. Ramachandran.

Informing the people of the housing project in Sri Lanka for the Tamils of recent Indian origin, he said that his government had decided to build 14,000 houses, of which 1,000 were handed over to the beneficiaries last year. He said the construction of 3,000 houses was going on at a “rapid pace”. The remaining houses would be taken up once the Sri Lankan government identified land for the project.

Release of fishermen

His government had secured the release of 1,900 fishermen who were caught by Sri Lankan authorities including those who were given death sentence, Mr. Modi said.

He also praised the AIADMK founder for his social welfare schemes, which had, he said, provided strength to the fight against poverty. He also explained how the slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (together with all, development for all) would realise the dreams of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the development of the State.

Referring to the presence of leaders of various constituents of the AIADMK-led front in the State, Mr. Modi, at the beginning of his speech, addressed each leader by name and called the Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss as the “senior most leader.” He did not fail to mention the presence of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai who had criticised the BJP strongly in recent months.

Mr. Thambi Durai was also seen talking to Mr. Modi and explaining some points to him.



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