BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin should be “ashamed” of allowing V. Senthilbalaji, arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in an alleged money-laundering case, to continue as a Minister.
Speaking at a public meeting at Rameswaram before flagging off BJP State president K. Annamalai’s ‘En Mann En Makkal’ yatra, he asked whether it was right to retain a jailed man as a Minister.
He said Mr. Stalin would not ask the Minister to resign as he knew the latter would reveal all the secrets about the government’s corruption.
Mr. Shah termed the DMK government the “most corrupt government” in the country. Claiming that there was corruption in every government department in Tamil Nadu, he asked what had happened to the DMK’s over 500 election promises.
He accused the government of working against the welfare of the poor.
According to him, every tweet of Mr. Annamalai on corruption allegations against the DMK was “rattling” the Tamil Nadu government. He wondered what would happen by the time Mr. Annamalai completed the yatra, “exposing the government’s corruption”.
The yatra, he felt, would bring an end to the corrupt and dynastic politics in Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Amit Shah said the motive of the leaders in the Opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) was to develop their families and not the country. Every leader in the coalition, including Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Stalin, Lalu Prasad, Uddhav Thackeray and Mamata Banerjee, wanted to bring their kin to power. In contrast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the only leader “who has always thought about and worked for the country’s development”, he said.
Listing the “contributions” of the Modi-led government to Tamil Nadu in the last nine years, he challenged the DMK and the Congress to list their achievements for the State when they shared power at the Centre. He said that every time the DMK and the Congress went to the people for votes, members of the public would be reminded only of the corruption during the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance rule and the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Highlighting Mr. Modi’s past speeches in praise of Tamil and his love for the language, Mr. Shah said the yatra would result in the pride of Tamil culture and Tamil language being taken to every corner of the country.
The yatra would also highlight the welfare-oriented policies of former AIADMK Chief Ministers M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa.
He appealed to the people to send the maximum number of MPs from Tamil Nadu for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2024.
Mr. Annamalai thanked the leaders of the NDA constituents who participated at the inauguration. He said the yatra was not the BJP’s but of all the allies to make Mr. Modi the Prime Minister for the third time.
Contending that the ‘Bharat Mata’, who was in deep slumber until 2014, awakened after Mr. Modi came to power, he said it was a question whether ‘Mother Tamil’ had awakened yet and the yatra would rekindle the Tamil culture.
Former Minister R.B. Udhayakumar of the AIADMK; Tamil Maanila Congress president G.K. Vasan; Puthiya Tamizhagam founder K. Krishnasamy; Puthiya Needhi Katchi founder A.C. Shanmugam; Ravi Pachamoothoo of the India Jananayaka Katchi; and Tamilaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder John Pandian were the leaders of the NDA constituents who attended the meeting.
Though the DMDK recently said it was no more part of the NDA, Mr. Annamalai thanked party founder Vijayakanth for sending a representative to the meeting.