Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu a problematic State for BJP: Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari flanked by Pon. Radhakrishnan and Tamilisai Soundararajan

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari flanked by Pon. Radhakrishnan and Tamilisai Soundararajan   | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

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‘Opportunity for growth exists but it hasn’t happened’

Terming Tamil Nadu a problematic State for his party, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Friday told BJP workers here to take advantage of the prevailing political vacuum in the State.

Accompanied by Union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan and BJP's Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan, Mr. Gadkari spoke at the Aiyavoo Mahal in Aminjikarai. The event, organised by the BJP's central Chennai district unit, was to mark the completion of the three years of the Central government.

Mr. Gadkari said that the state BJP should aspire to form a majority government in Tamil Nadu. "Maximum governance in the states: BJP. Maximum Backward MPs: BJP. Maximum tribal MPs: BJP. All the people are there. But the problem of Tamil Nadu, we are yet to solve," Mr. Gadkari, a former national president of the BJP, said.

Mr. Gadkari said that party workers will have to do more to increase the party's mass base in the state. He drew parallels with his constituency Nagpur, where a Congress monopoly was ended by the BJP.

"All people, even outside the party, are telling me that there is a great opportunity for the BJP in Tamil Nadu now. There is a question in my mind whether we are ready to take advantage of the political opportunity or not," he said.

He said that the Central government's programmes and Narendra Modi's popularity should be their engine of growth in the state. However, Mr. Gadkari also hinted that he was not happy with the pace of the growth of the party. "We have given you the cheque. You have to sign it and cash in. But, whether you have a bank account or not is the problem," he told party workers.

Mr. Gadkari has also committed ₹200 crore to set up the Water Transport Corporation to run a ferry service from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai via Kanniyakumari. Inaugurating a slew of new projects estimated at ₹1,492 crore at the Kamarajar Port Limited (KPL), he said the Ministry would provide viability gap funding and bring in private investors for this waterways project.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:36:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-a-problematic-state-for-bjp-gadkari/article18952025.ece

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