Will stand firm against Opposition forces: Modi

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by BJP leaders during a public meeting, in Madurai, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Ridiculing Opposition’s Grand Alliance yet again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the parties have united despite their differences only to remove him because he, as “watchman” of the country, has been acting against their corruption in government contracts and defence deals.

Modi said he will stand “firmly with the poor” however big a group the Opposition parties form against him “out of fear and negativity,” and asked the youth of Tamil Nadu to defeat the forces of negativity.

He was addressing a public meeting in this temple town – his speech lacked any punch, lasted only 21 minutes, including the time taken for translation into Tamil. The only surprise was Modi making his speech in English, unlike the earlier public meetings where he spoke in Hindi. The decision might have spawned due to BJP’s realisation that much ice cannot be cut with a speech in Hindi.

Dedicating most of his speech for outlining infrastructure and welfare measures brought to Tamil Nadu by the Union government, Modi spoke of the state transforming into a hub for Aerospace and Defence Industries and announced the launching of high-speed Tejas Express from Chennai to Madurai.

Contending that his government has taken a strong view against corruption, the Prime Minister said every person who has cheated or looted the country, shall be brought to justice -- regardless of whether he is in India, or abroad.

“The Union Government’s effort against corruption has created a stir from Chennai to Delhi. All those who were used to making deals in government contracts, defence deals, and welfare schemes, are now facing the music. That is why they are all coming together. They say that keeping aside all other considerations, they must unite to remove this watchman,” he said.

Modi, whose visit lasted just for two hours, faced opposition from Dravidian parties with MDMK chief Vaiko leading a black flag protest against him in Madurai city. Twitter was also very active as the hashtags #GoBackModi and #GoBackSadistModi were trending along with #TNWelcomesModi of BJP supporters.

This is not the first time that #GoBackModi is trending on Twitter. In April last year, the hashtag trended with 5 lakh tweets on one day when Modi visited Tamil Nadu. But this time, the BJP also took efforts to trend #TNWelcomesModi.

Modi also refrained from naming any political party but took a subtle dig at Congress and DMK while speaking about corruption and Opposition to the 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in General Category.

On the quota issue, Modi said that it was conceived since the government is committed to providing employment opportunities and education to all segments of the society and hence the decision has been taken in a way that it does not impact the sections who are currently availing reservation.

“It is unfortunate that an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is being created by a few people in TN, only to serve their selfish interests. I ask all of you to remain vigilant against such negativity. Any political thought opposite to poor cannot benefit anyone,” he said.

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