Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that a decision has been taken to rename the Chennai Central railway station after the iconic leader MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR.
"MGR worked extensively for the downtrodden. His social welfare schemes gave strength to the fight against poverty. We have decided to rename the Chennai Central station after the great MGR, " said Modi in Kanchipuram while launching the election campaign of the BJP-AIADMK-PMK alliance in the state.
"I am happy to have inaugurated a statue of the 'great son of soil' Bharat Ratna MGR a short while ago. MGR is one of the most respected icons of India. He ruled the film screen and the hearts of the people," the prime minister added.
MGR was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1988. In September 2018, Tamil Nadu chief minister EK Palaniswami had said that the state cabinet had decided to urge the Centre to rename the railway station after "Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran," in view of his birth centenary celebrations.
Modi's announcement comes weeks after the BJP, AIADMK, and PMK formally announced their alliance for the general election.
At Wednesday's rally, the prime minister also unveiled road projects in Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Tirupur districts through video conferencing. He also laid foundation stones for five national highways projects which will pass through Villupuram, Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Vellore and Kancheepuram districts.
Addressing the grand rally, Modi said, "We are also seriously thinking about ensuring that flights to and from Tamil Nadu have inflight announcements in Tamil language."
Citing a Congress leader's remarks on 'killing' him, he said, "I am not bothered about threats and abuses. Will do whatever it takes to make India strong."
Lashing out at the Opposition, he said they are guided by politics and selfish interests and neither want a strong India or a strong armed force. "Modi hatred" was reaching new levels daily, he said and added that "there is a competition on who abuses him the most...some even abuse my lower caste."
Reiterating his "maha milawat" jibe (adulteration alliance) against the Opposition, Modi said that they should clearly state their plan to take the nation forward. He claimed that as many as 50 governments were dismissed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi using Article 356. Even the DMK had become a victim, he said and hit out at the Dravidian party led by MK Stalin, saying "opportunism has prevailed over values".
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 06, 2019 18:25:33 IST