TIRUPUR: Even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi harps on alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged the opposition Congress with neglecting the defence sector during its long years in power at the Centre, alleging that the party had indulged in defence scams from “seas to skies”.
In his second visit to Tamil Nadu in a month, Modi was addressing a BJP rally at Perumanallur, near Tirupur after launching a slew of completed projects. Beginning his speech by listing rivers in the region, the PM said a few words in Tamil and paid homage to historic figures Tirupur Kumaran and Dheeran Chinnamalai, before launching into an attack on the Congress and opposition. Not commenting on the Rafale allegations, he instead charged that the defence sector was only about brokering deals and benefitting friends for the Congress, which had “not allowed modernisation of defence forces”. He said the NDA government had launched two defence corridors, one in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking of his government’s efforts to end corruption, Modi, interestingly, invoked late Congress leader and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu K Kamaraj. “The NDA government in Delhi is putting a lock on the corrupt misdeeds of several people. This is exactly how the great Kamaraj wanted a government to be run – where there is zero tolerance towards corruption,” he said.
He reiterated that the government’s effort to give 10 per cent quota to the poor in the general category was done “without altering the existing reservation system.”
Accusing the opposition parties against the BJP government of having no agenda but to dislodge him, Modi again termed the alliance as maha milawat (great adulteration). Singling out former finance minister P Chidambaram for criticism, Modi said, “There was a very wise minister from Tamil Nadu, the Recounting Minister... In his typical arrogance he said -- why is the middle class so worried about price rise, they buy such expensive ice cream and mineral water... The middle class does not need the taunts by you and the Congress. They have rejected you and will continue to do so,” he said.
Vaiko stages black-flag protest, arrested
Tirupur: MDMK leader Vaiko was one of the 500 people arrested for staging a black-flag protest opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit near Tirupur. Meanwhile, there was commotion for a while at the protest venue after a BJP cadre reportedly hurled a slipper at the agitators. However, attempts of MDMK cadre to attack the woman were foiled as she was secured by the police