Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday turned the tables on Congress president Rahul Gnadhi’s charge that he was a “watchman” of the country who had turned a thief himself, by asserting that the opposition had ganged up against him because he was a “sentinel against corruption” who was determined to bring to book all those who looted the country all these years.
Addressing a massive public meeting at Madurai, organized by the BJP to mark the launch of the party’s campaign in Tamil Nadu for the coming Lok Sabha elections, Modi said the opposition wanted to remove “this watchman” because his drive against corruption had rattled all parties from Delhi to Chennai.
The one-point agenda of the opposition grand alliance, he said,was to remove “this chowkidar”. He said :"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.,"
Apparently referring to fugitive economic offenders Vijaya Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who have fled the country, he said: "Any person who has cheated or looted the country shall be brought to justice regardless of whether he is in India, or abroad."
Modi, however, made no mention of alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal in connection with this Rahul made this charge. Turning to Tamil Nadu, Modi said the DMK and other Dravidian parties opposing his Government’s policy to set apart 10 per cent of Central government jobs and seats in Central educational institutions for the economically weaker sections (EWS) as having vested interests.
He denied that the additional quota would cut into the share of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Other Backward Classes as it would be the open category, or the merit list which is open to all castes. He particularly accused the DMK of having created an atmosphere of mistrust over the new quota.
Modi did not get into details but said the aim was to extend the benefit of education and employment to all sections, meaning even the poor among the forward castes. He announced a new superfast train from Madurai, Tejas would be started soon. He also said steps would be taken to make Tuticorin a leading port in the south. The Prime Minister said a new bridge would be built cross the sea to link mainland Mandapam with Rameswaram and Danushkodi islands
Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the inauguration of the work on the AIIMS multi-speciality hospital and medical college proposed to be set up at Thopur on the outskirts of Madurai. Being built at a cost of Rs 1,254 crore, the hospital will become operational by 2022.
In this connection, he paid homage to late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha who, he said, was the one who asked for AIIMS for Tamil Nadu after the Centre announced plans to set up one in every State
He also inaugurated super specialty blocks at Rajaji Madurai hospital and in Thanjavur and Tirunelveli medical college hospitals.