As the pitch for the Lok Sabha elections intensifies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again engrossed himself in the campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On Sunday, the prime minister was on a break-neck tour of three southern states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka –addressing a series of rallies and inaugurating several developmental projects. The prime minister during the day targetted the opposition, raking up issues surrounding the Indian Army. He slammed the Congress along with regional parties including the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which protested against his arrival in Andhra Pradesh.
In Andhra Pradesh
On the first leg of the three state tour, PM Modi reached Guntur in Andhra Pradesh in the morning and launched a vortex of attacks on chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who was once part of the NDA. This was Modi’s first trip to the state after the BJP and TDP severed ties at the Centre. Taking a dig at the chief minister, Modi said, “He promised sunrise for the state of Andhra Pradesh. But he seems interested only in the rise of his son. He told me he would turn around the infrastructure of Andhra Pradesh. But he himself took a U-turn!” Modi said that Naidu, who keeps reminding him of his seniority is only ‘senior in backstabbing.’
“Chandrababu Naidu Ji keeps reminding me he is my senior. But he is senior in backstabbing his father-in-law (NTR). He is senior in changing parties and making alliances. What has happened to him? Why does he keep pointing out that he is senior?” questioned PM Modi. Follow Modi in South India HIGHLIGHTS
Modi, remembering NTR, also called out the Congress saying that it was due to their arrogance that NTR swore to rid the state from Congress rule. Meanwhile, Naidu fired a salvo on Modi’s reference of “father of Lokesh” saying, “You have estranged your wife. Do you have any respect in the family system? Since you have referred to my son, I am mentioning about your wife. People, do you know Narendra Modi has a wife? Her name is Jashodaben,” Naidu told a public meeting at Vijayawada.
It is to be noted that Lokesh donning black shirt protested against PM Modi’s visit to the state during the day.
In Tamil Nadu
Following his engagements in Andhra, the prime minister headed to Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu where he inaugurated a new integrated building at Trichy airport. The prime minister, referring to the creation of the two defence corridors including one in Tamil Nadu, charged against the Congress and said, “Those who got the opportunity to rule the nation for years did not bother about India’s defence sector. For them, this sector was only about brokering deals and helping their own set of friends… Why is it that every middleman caught has a link with some Congress leader of the other?”
Criticising the Congress for its attitude towards the Indian Army, the prime minister raked up the 2016 surgical strike conducted across the Line of Control. “A few days ago, the nation saw with utter disgust a story of how top UPA minister kept pushing a narrative that our Army will do a coup. Every Indian knows that our Army can do no such thing but look at the Congress attitude,” he added. Read in TAMIL
The prime minister also attacked former finance minister P Chidambaram who comes from the state, terming him ‘recounting minister’ and said, “There was a very wise Minister from Tamil Nadu, the Recounting Minister. The man who thinks all the knowledge in the world resides only in his brains. 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! Mr. Recounting Minister, the middle class does not need the taunts by you and the Congress. They have rejected you and will continue to do so.”
Responding to PM’s remarks, Chidambaram said, “Whatever whoever may say, listen to it, and wisdom is to comprehend the true meaning of it. Mr. Modi, You brought demonetization, you introduced funny GST rule, what else is left in your kitty?”
On the final leg of his tour, the prime minister reached Hubli in Karnataka and addresses a public meeting. Talking about the reports of infighting within the Congress and the JDS coalition in the state, Modi said, “Everyone is busy in saving their own power, MLAs are fighting for power in hotels. Many Congress leaders are fighting within themselves for maintaining supremacy in the party. While chief minister Kumaraswamy is the punching bag for everyone, whose entire energy is being wasted in saving his chief ministership from Congress leaders. And they want to impose this ‘Majboor’model of Karnataka on the country.”