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On the arrest of V. Senthilbalaji and its aftermath

Amit Shah flags off En Mann En Makkal yatra at Rameswaram; says CM Stalin should be ashamed of retaining Senthilbalaji as Minister

Speaking at a public meeting at Rameswaram before flagging off BJP State president K. Annamalai’s En Mann En Makkal yatra, the senior national BJP leader calls the DMK government in Tamil Nadu as the most corrupt in the country

July 28, 2023 11:19 pm | Updated September 27, 2023 11:49 am IST - RAMESWARAM

BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a public meeting held at Rameswaram on July 28, 2023

BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a public meeting held at Rameswaram on July 28, 2023 | Photo Credit: L. Balachandar

BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday, July 28, 2023 that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin should be “ashamed” of allowing V. Senthilbalaji, arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in an alleged money-laundering case, to continue as a Minister.

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Speaking at a public meeting at Rameswaram before flagging off BJP State president K. Annamalai’s En Mann En Makkal yatra, he asked whether it was right to retain a jailed man as a Minister.

| Video Credit: L. Balachandar

He said Mr. Stalin would not ask the Minister to resign as he knew the latter would reveal all the secrets about the DMK government’s corruption.

Mr. Shah termed the DMK government the “most corrupt government” in the country. Claiming that there was corruption in every government department in Tamil Nadu, he asked what had happened to the DMK’s over 500 election promises.

Also Read | Annamalai’s ‘En Mann En Makkal’ yatra covers a short distance on Day 1

He accused the government of working against the welfare of the poor.

‘Government rattled’

According to him, every tweet of Mr. Annamalai on corruption allegations against the DMK was “rattling” the Tamil Nadu government. He wondered what would happen by the time Mr. Annamalai completed the yatra, “exposing the government’s corruption”.

The yatra, he felt, would bring an end to the corrupt and dynastic politics in Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Amit Shah said the motive of the leaders in the Opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) was to develop their families and not the country. Every leader in the coalition, including Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Stalin, Lalu Prasad, Uddhav Thackeray and Mamata Banerjee, wanted to bring their kin to power. In contrast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the only leader “who has always thought about and worked for the country’s development”, he said.

Also Read | CM Stalin hits out at Amit Shah, says En Mann En Makkal yatra is to wash away sins 

Listing the “contributions” of the Modi-led government to Tamil Nadu in the last nine years, he challenged the DMK and the Congress to list their achievements for the State when they shared power at the Centre. He said that every time the DMK and the Congress went to the people for votes, members of the public would be reminded only of the corruption during the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance rule and the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Highlighting Mr. Modi’s past speeches in praise of Tamil and his love for the language, Mr. Shah said the yatra would result in the pride of Tamil culture and Tamil language being taken to every corner of the country.

The yatra would also highlight the welfare-oriented policies of former AIADMK Chief Ministers M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa.

He appealed to the people to send the maximum number of MPs from Tamil Nadu for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2024.

Also Read | Modi is fulfilling Abdul Kalam’s suggestions for the country’s development: Amit Shah

Mr. Annamalai thanked the leaders of the NDA constituents who participated at the inauguration. He said the yatra was not the BJP’s but of all the allies to make Mr. Modi the Prime Minister for the third time.

Contending that the ‘Bharat Mata’, who was in deep slumber until 2014, awakened after Mr. Modi came to power, he said it was a question whether ‘Mother Tamil’ had awakened yet and the yatra would rekindle the Tamil culture.

Former Minister R.B. Udhayakumar of the AIADMK; Tamil Maanila Congress president G.K. Vasan; Puthiya Tamizhagam founder K. Krishnasamy; Puthiya Needhi Katchi founder A.C. Shanmugam; Ravi Pachamoothoo of the India Jananayaka Katchi; and Tamilaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder John Pandian were the leaders of the NDA constituents who attended the meeting.

Though the DMDK recently said it was no more part of the NDA, Mr. Annamalai thanked party founder Vijayakanth for sending a representative to the meeting.

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