190210 Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a BJP rally in Hubballi, Karnataka, Sunday, Feb 10, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Tiruppu, Tamil Nadu: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hit out at the opposition alliance, questioning why they were combining against him when they claim his government was a failure.

Referring to the coming together of opposition parties of various hues, Modi, addressing a rally in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur after inaugurating a slew of projects, described them as an “adulterated alliance” and “club of rich people” seeking to promote dynasties.

“Nobody knows the agenda of the opposition alliance and they don’t have worthwhile answers to any question,” the prime minister alleged.

“The only answer they have for all the questions is ‘ask Modi’,” he added.

Citing cases against opposition leaders, he said after the availability of family pack ice creams and mobile telephony packages, it is “now the turn of family pack jail”.

Alleging that the opposition was good at spreading panic and misleading youths, farmers and other sections of society, the prime minister said for a long time opposition parties had created tension in society over the issue of social justice.

“For us, social justice is an article of faith and not a mathematical formula, the way it is for the opposition parties,” he said, adding that it was the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee that restored reservation in promotions for the SC/STs, a privilege that was scrapped by the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre earlier.

Referring to his government’s decision to provide 10 per cent reservation to the economically backward sections, Modi said the move aims at equality of opportunities to all and would not affect the existing reservation for SC/STs and Other Backward Classes.

He criticised the Congress’ farm loan waiver scheme saying that it would not benefit anybody but would result in an extra burden of Rs500 billion, while his government, for the first time in India’s history, had announced a Rs60 billion per year income scheme for farmers’ holding less than five acres of land.

When the scheme was announced in Parliament the opposition parties were left shocked, he added.

New projects

Modi on Sunday launched a host of new as well as completed projects in Tamil Nadu from here as he kicked off his 2019 election campaign in the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

This was his first visit to Tamil Nadu since the presentation of the Interim Budget for 2019-20.

In his last stopover at Tiruppur — a major export hub for knitted garments, about 470km from Chennai, Modi laid the foundation of a 100-bed Employees State Insurance Corp (ESIC) health facility.

The hospital will cater to the needs of over 100,000 workers and their family members in the hosiery town and nearby areas would be covered under the ESI Act.

The brief function in Perumanallur village was also attended by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Union Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan and others.

The Prime Minister also laid foundation stones for a new integrated building of the Trichy Airport and for modernisation of the Chennai airport via video conference.

Post expansion, the Trichy Airport would be able to handle 3,000 passengers in peak hours, up from 500 passengers now.

The PM also dedicated to the nation, a 470-bed ESIC Hospital and the Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd’s Ennore Coastal Terminal in Chennai.

He also inaugurated a crude oil pipeline from the Chennai Port to the Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL)’s Manali refinery in Chennai.

The pipeline, built with enhanced safety features, will ensure reliable supply of crude oil to Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring states.

He also flagged off a passenger service between a 10-km section of the Chennai Metro Rail — AG-DMS Metro Station to Washermenpet Metro Station.