VIRUDHUNAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is following the footsteps of former Chief Minister Kamaraj by implementing people welfare schemes, Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development said.
Participating in the 113th birth anniversary celebrations of late Congress leader Kamaraj organised by Nadar Mahajana Sangam (NMS) here on Wednesday, Naidu said, “I have no intention of comparing our PM with the great leader Kamaraj but there are some commonalities between them. Kamaraj worked for the empowerment of poor and took initiatives for expanding irrigation network and industrialisation and Modi too is trying to do the same now.”
Kamaraj lived for 72 years and was actively associated with freedom struggle since he was 15-year-old. Inspired by Gandhi, he participated in several agitations such as Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement.
“When Kamaraj was in power, he started 12,000 new schools, introduced mid day meal scheme and uniforms in schools and brought in several industries, built dams, irrigation canals, desilted 1,628 tanks and provided long-term loan with 25 percent subsidy to the farmers. Even today, Kamaraj’s rule is described as the golden rule,” Naidu said.
Describing Kamaraj as a selfless leader, he recalled that on becoming the CM in 1954, he made C Subramaniam a minister in his cabinet even though he contested his leadership. “This shows the generosity of the great leader. When Nehru died in 1964, Kamaraj was the natural choice for the PM post but he made Lal Bahadur Shastri the PM. Only people like Kamaraj can make such sacrifices,” he said.
Though Kamaraj belonged to the Congress, BJP has high regard for him. He said, “We want to take Kamaraj’s legacy forward.”
Likening Modi to Kamaraj, the BJP leader listed the former’s achievements. About 15 crore bank accounts have been opened and over 10 crore have joined the social security schemes implemented by the PM, he said.
While 12 cities in Tamil Nadu would be developed as smart cities, 32 more would be developed under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation Mission (AMRUT). Velankanni and Kancheepuram would be developed as heritage towns for which the central government has sanctioned `22 crore, the minister said.