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Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | We don’t treat people based on their religion, says PM Modi

‘UPA banned jallikattu; we will complete construction of AIIMS in Madurai’

BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday insisted that his government does not differentiate between people on the basis of their faith and religion.

“We are for Indians and not for any particular caste or religion. We rescued nurses abducted in Iraq. We rescued Rev. Fr. Alexis Premkumar from his abductors in Afghanistan and Rev. Fr. Tom from his abductors in Yemen. When I personally called Fr. Alexis’s sister to inform her that he was safe even after being a hostage for 18 months, she could not believe it. We don’t treat people based on their faith or religion,” he said at an election meeting in Kanniyakumar, a district with considerable Christian population.

Being Good Friday, he recalled the sacrifices and services of Jesus Christ for the poor.

UPA’s dynasty rule

Targeting the Opposition, he claimed that while the NDA is keen on holistic infrastructure and industrial development of the nation, the nepotism ridden UPA is for dynasty rule for the benefit of their children and their grandchildren.

The prime objective of the NDA government was to create a prosperous farming sector, a bubbling industrial sector, a well-developed coastal sector and fishing industry by designing appropriate policies. “We will ensure better connectivity between the fishing harbours and the hinterland to enable fishermen to reach their markets for getting better price,” he said.

Assailing the DMK, he said senior leaders of the party, who had worked shoulder-to-shoulder with late M. Karunanidhi, had to work with the ‘crown prince’ [Udhayanidhi Stalin] as the party was keen on dynasty rule. The Congress, he said, was undemocratic as it had dismissed elected governments in the past, and the party did not understand local sentiments.

Earlier, in Madurai, where he invoked references to the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, Mr. Modi accused the DMK and the Congress of spreading lies. He insisted that construction of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai would be completed as per proper procedure.

A state-of-the-art infectious diseases block would be established at the AIIMS. “The AIIMS will provide quality healthcare and treatment for the people of this region,” he added.

[Recently, DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin had campaigned holding a brick to stress that there was no progress in the construction of the AIIMS, beyond the initial brick laying ceremony.]

Mr. Modi said that the DMK and the Congress must control their lies because the people are not foolish. “The DMK and the Congress project themselves as the only protectors of Tamil culture. However, the facts prove the opposite,” he said.

In 2011, the UPA hovernment supported a ban on jallikattu. The AIADMK government, an ally of the BJP, promulgated an ordinance to permit the conduct of jallikattu, he noted.

Charging that the DMK did not take any steps for the welfare of the Devendra Kulavelalar community, Mr. Modi insisted that the AIADMK and the BJP had worked to ensure the dignity of the community. He claimed that the law and order situation in the State would be disturbed if the DMK-led alliance comes to power. “The DMK is trying to make peace-loving Madurai a ‘mafia den’ because of an internal complication in its first family,” he alleged.

The NDA focuses on three main areas for the development of South Tamil Nadu: infrastructure, irrigation and investments, said the PM.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said an alliance with the BJP government would help bring good projects to Tamil Nadu.

Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and senior leaders of alliance parties participated.

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