PM launches series of Central initiatives in TN and Telangana; KCR skips event, Stalin-Modi bonhomie on display

Chennai/Hyderebad: Modi launched the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Expresss, the first such inter-city service in Tamil Nadu

BY | Sunday, 9 April, 2023
PM inaugurates and lays the foundation stone of various projects at Alstom Cricket Ground, in Chennai on 8 April 2023. (PIB)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday flagged off two Vande Bharat train services in Telangana and Tamil Nadu and launched other projects while underscoring his government’s commitment for the south Indian states’ progress but his visit to the two non-BJP ruled states saw stark contrast over the participation of the leadership of the respective ruling dispensations.

While Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekkhar Rao gave a miss to Modi’s official event in Hyderabad, where the PM even asked the government to not to hinder development, his Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin chose to share dais with the Prime Minister at 3 of his 4 official engagements in Chennai. Bonhomie between the two leaders was in full display.

This came in the backdrop of the high decibel political face-offs between the DMK and the BJP over a number of issues. State BJP president K Annamalai has even announced to release a “corruption list” of the DMK ministers in the coming days.

Modi, who addressed a public meeting in Hyderabad after laying foundation stone and inaugurating several development projects, said the lack of cooperation from the Telangana government is leading to delay in the completion of several central projects in the state.

PM inaugurates and lays the foundation stone of various road projects at Hyderabad, in Telangana on 8 April 2023. (PIB)

CM Rao did not attend the inauguration of Vande Bharat train between Secunderabad and Tirupati, and also Modi’s event dedicating to the nation and laying the foundation stone for several development projects in Telangana. KCR, as Rao is known, has stayed away from the events of Modi during the latter’s visits to the state for more than a year now.

Observing that it is the people of Telangana who are at a loss, PM Modi urged the state government to not allow any hindrance in the works related to the development. Modi, who lashed out at dynastic politics, said his government has attacked the real root of corruption of dynastic forces who want to keep their control over every system.

“Should we fight against corruption or not? Should we fight against the corrupt or not? Should the country be liberated from corruption or not? Should legal steps be taken against the corrupt however big or not. Should the law be allowed to work against the corrupt or not,” he asked the gathering.

That’s why “these people” are upset and they are doing anything out of anger, Modi said.

“A few days ago, some political parties went to the court seeking protection that no one should seek to inquire our (parties) books filled with corruption. They went to court, but court gave them a shock,” Modi said, without taking any names.

Recently, as many as 14 political parties led by the Congress filed a petition in the apex court alleging that there has been an alarming rise in the use of coercive criminal processes against opposition political leaders and other citizens exercising their fundamental right to dissent.

However, the Supreme Court, refusing to entertain the plea, observed that politicians do not have “higher immunity”.

Those who have been nurturing dynasty, nepotism and corruption have nothing to do with the interest of the country and the welfare of society, Modi said. They like to see only the prosperity of their family and these people see the self-interest of their family in every project and investment, he added.

“Telangana needs to be very alert against such people,” Modi asserted.

Expressing ‘pain’ at the alleged non-cooperation of the BRS government towards central government initiatives aimed at Telangana, he appealed to the Rao-led dispensation to not allow any hindrance in development being planned for the people of the state.

Later, at Chennai, Modi launched and laid the foundation stone for nearly Rs 5,000 crore worth new projects in Tamil Nadu in the transport sector, that included the flagging off of the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express and inauguration of a New Integrated Terminal Building (Phase-1) of the Chennai International Airport, constructed at an estimated Rs 1260 crore.

The PM underscored Centre’s push for the state’s growth, recalling in detail the various initiatives in this regard, even as Tamil Nadu CM Stalin pressed for allocation of more projects and funds to his state from the Union government.

Download Nagaland Tribune app on Google Play

Modi launched the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Expresss, the first such inter-city service in Tamil Nadu.

In his address, Modi said India has been witnessing a revolution in terms of infrastructure development. It is driven by speed and scale and pointed to Union Budget’s allocation of a record Rs 10 lakh crore investment in infrastructure. “This is five times more than that of 2014.”

Stalin said India as a nation will prosper only when funds flow from the Centre for the development of States. He requested the Prime Minister to increase the fund allocation for railway projects.

Prosperous and strong States are the true indicators of co-operative federalism and vibrant India, he insisted and claimed that his Dravidian model of governance is striving on this principle to implement the structural programmes required for the development of entire Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu’s development is a great priority for the Centre, the PM said and added the State has been allocated an all-time high budget of Rs 6,000 crore this year for rail infrastructure.

In his address at celebrations commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna Math here, Modi said people across the country always had a clear concept of the nation and as a country, for thousands of years, it reflected the spirit of “Ek Bharat Shrest Bharat,” one India, great India.

PM participates in celebrations commemorating 125th Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna Math at Chennai, in Tamil Nadu on 8 April 2023. (PIB)

Although the DMK and BJP have been engaged in bitter political rivalry of late, the Modi-Stalin bonhomie was viewed with much interest in the political circles. Interestingly, Stalin has been batting for a united opposition coalition to take on the BJP in next year’s Lok Sabha polls, with a significant role for the Congress.

Modi was received by Stalin on Saturday afternoon at the airport here.

After a warm reception at the Chennai Airport, the CM, also the DMK president, briefly held the PM’s hand and patted on the back of the latter’s palm while walking through the displays exhibited at the new Chennai airport terminal.

Only days before the PM arrived did Stalin write to him demanding that three coal blocks identified in the Cauvery Delta region of the state be removed from the national auction list.

The centre was quick to remove the three blocks from the list, even as Annamalai issued a statement thanking the PM for his swift response to the saffron party’s demands.

Meanwhile, the Congress’ state unit and some other organisations protested against Modi’s Chennai visit.

You cannot copy content of this page