First election rally in Tamil Nadu: PM Modi woos Dalits, slams Congress for 'campaign of lies' on quota issues

Addressing his first pre-poll rally in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi steered clear of taking on local heavyweights and instead assured Dalits that reservation for them in jobs and education will not be cut. The Prime Minister hit out at the Opposition for spreading lies and preventing his government from functioning.

He said the opposition parties are unable to digest the fact that he — a tea vendor, and son of a poor woman — is governing the country and taking actions that were not seen in the past 60 years.

Modi avoided any reference to the major regional players — AIADMK and DMK. Rather, he took on the Congress accusing it of trying to instigate the Dalits against him as the Opposition had no real issues to target the Centre, The Hindu reported.

Charging the opposition parties with instigating the Dalits by spreading lies about the government, Modi asserted reservation for Dalits will continue.

Narendra Modi. Reuters

Narendra Modi. Reuters

This is the first time Modi was addressing a public rally in Coimbatore, 500 km from Tamil Nadu's capital city Chennai, after taking over as the Prime Minister.

Citing the grand manner in which the government celebrated the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, the architect of Indian Constitution, Modi said the Maharashtra government has bought the house in London where Ambedkar stayed as a student and made it a memorial.

Disappointing the crowd and others by not giving any indication on the party's strategy for the ensuing assembly polls, he trained his guns only at the national opposition parties.

Citing that there was no scam in the central government ever since his BJP came to power, Modi said the situation was not so two years ago when the media was full of news about scams under the then government. After BJP came to power, there is a renewed hope in the minds of the people across the country about progress, he said.

"The opposition parties are showing their anger against the government in the Rajya Sabha by blocking schemes that would benefit the poor," Modi said, alleging the the opposition is losing its sleep over his government's performance.

"There are many laws in the country and the poor are caught in the legal tangle. We have abolished around 700 laws and in the Rajya Sabha, the opposition is not allowing the government to do that," he said.

Similarly, opposition parties are not allowing an amendment of the Bonus Act so that workers can get a higher bonus, he said, noting that the bonus that workers are getting now is insufficient to buy sweets for their children.

On the farming segment, Modi said that soon after he became prime minister, many chief ministers wrote angry letters to him demanding supply or urea for the farmers but these have stopped.

"Now no chief minister is writing to me asking for urea. For the first time after the country attained independence, urea is not sold in the black market," Modi said.

He said the Rs.6,000 crore cane arrears is credited directly to the bank account of sugarcane farmers and not given to the sugar mills, while in order to encourage farmers to grow pulses and cereals, a minimum support price for the crops has been announced.

He also said the government has implemented a new crop insurance scheme which is cheaper for the farmers.

"In the last 16 months the government has implemented many schemes that were not seen by the country during the past 60 years. Many are losing sleep due to that," Modi said.

According to him, all the research reports whether they are by IMF, World Bank or the credit rating agencies state that Indian economy is growing and moving forward.

For India's youth, Modi said schemes like Start Up India, Stand Up India and others have begun while under the Mudra financial assistance scheme, Rs.95,000 crore has been disbursed benefiting over two crore families.

Modi said that the world over, governments tals about private and public sector while he focusses on the "personal" or individuals and their economic progress.

With IANS inputs

Updated Date: Feb 03, 2016 08:07 AM

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