Will the BJP’s continuous victory in the North b seen in the South as well? Will BJP expand its government in Tamil Nadu before 2019 elections?
With the BJP’s ties with some of its allies under strain, party chief Amit Shah on Monday spoke of giving “respect” to the existing partners and expanding the Centre’s ruling NDA by bringing in “new friends” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year.
In Tamil Nadu, where the party is looking for allies to broaden its support base after winning one seat in the last Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah invoked Tamil pride, insisting no other party was as committed to preserving it as the BJP.
“We will give respect to our existing allies and bring in new friends before the Lok Sabha elections and give the nation a clean government,” he told a meeting of around 15,000 members of the Sakthi and Maha Sakthi Kendras of the BJP on the city’s outskirts.
Stating that the development of Tamil Nadu has been a priority under Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Amit Shah said it allotted projects worth over Rs. 5 lakh crore to the state in the last four years.
He further compared the 13th Finance Commission to the 14th Finance Commission, saying, “Under the 13th Finance Commission, Tamil Nadu got Rs. 94,540 crore which was increased to Rs. 1,99,096 crore under the Modi Government.”
Invoking the pride of the state residents, Amit Shah insisted that no other party was as committed to preserving Tamil Nadu as the BJP.
Highlighting the various projects that the BJP has invested money in, Shah said, “Not only this, for the schemes of the Centre, Rs. 1,35,000 crore was given by BJP separately.”
“It is because of BJP that Tamil Nadu has got the maximum number of railway lines since independence. For 3,200 km railway line, the BJP has paid Rs. 20, 000 crores,” he added.
“What the Modi government did for the state in the last four years, no dispensation could do in 70 years,” he said, listing out various centrally-sponsored projects and funds allocated for them.
The BJP Chief further showed confidence that his party will get the maximum number of seats in Tamil Nadu in the Lok Sabha elections next year.
Amit Shah, under whose stewardship the BJP has scripted victories in many state assembly elections after the party came to power at the Centre in 2014, said he would announce its new partners in Tamil Nadu before the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP had tried to rope in superstar Rajinikanth without any success.
The state’s ruling AIADMK, which has lost much of its sheen following the death of its charismatic leader J Jayalalithaa, is being seen as attempting to cozy up to the BJP.
The BJP’s relations with some alliance partners, including its oldest ally the Shiv Sena, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Akali Dal and RLSP of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, have been somewhat tense, and Shah’s comments are being seen as an attempt to smooth their ruffled feathers.
Without naming the main opposition in Tamil Nadu– the DMK– Mr Shah said it had started a “disinformation campaign” on the issue of “Tamil pride”.
“Those who are raising the issue of Tamil pride are engaging in disinformation against us. No party is as committed to preserving Tamil pride and Tamil language as the BJP and its Tamil Nadu unit. When they were in power at the Centre as part of the UPA, railway tickets were not printed in the Tamil language. It has happened when Narendra Modi is in power. The BJP respects the pride of all states at it is embedded in our cultural upbringing,” he said.
The DMK has often accused the Centre of neglecting Tamil language and culture.
Amit Shah said from the day a government, which has the BJP as its constituent, takes office in Tamil Nadu, it will start making efforts for teaching the Tamil language beyond the state to those who are interested in learning it.
The BJP chief, who met party leaders and workers during the day to galvanize the party apparatus before the Lok Sabha polls, said a conference of 1.25 lakh booth-level functionaries will be held in October which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He asked party activists to fan out to each part of the state to ensure people reaped the benefits of over 120 schemes launched by the Modi government for women, poor, Dalits and other deprived sections of society.
The BJP president alleged corruption scandals involving a stupendous Rs. 12 lakh crore occurred during the 10 years of UPA rule.
He said wherever the BJP formed its government or was a part of the ruling dispensation, it ensured corruption was rooted out.
“Corruption has been eradicated in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Assam, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand….it has been rooted out in 19 states where we are in power. But I am pained when I think of Tamil Nadu. It is counted among the most corrupt states. We will finish corruption here too. We will also effectively tackle law and order issues if we are part of an alliance that forms its government here,” he said.
He exuded confidence that the BJP would emerge as a force to reckon with in the state in the next Lok Sabha polls.