HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

After Jayalalithaa’s barb, Modi picks Muslim as speech translator

Shekhar Iyer & Vijay Swaroop, Hindustan Times  New Delhi/Krishnagiri/Ratlam, April 17, 2014
First Published: 09:07 IST(17/4/2014) | Last Updated: 09:38 IST(17/4/2014)

BJP prime minister candidate Narendra Modi had a Muslim woman functionary of the BJP to translate his speech in rallies in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, a day after AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa dubbed the BJP's election manifesto as "anti-secular."

Munavari Begum, BJP minority cell vice-president, translated his speech in the rallies held in the state, which started from Krishnagiri.

Begum, who is in the party for the last 21 years, was in the news last year after she got threats following the murder of 'Auditor' Ramesh, Tamil Nadu BJP general secretary in Salem last year.

Making a strong pitch for his party led alliance in Tamil Nadu in the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, Modi said it has emerged as a 'viable alternative' to DMK and AIADMK which worked in a "shift system" once in five years only to "harass" each other.

"There is shift system in Tamil Nadu every five years where DMK and AIADMK come to power. They are busy harassing each other," he told an election rally in western Tamil Nadu in support of NDA candidates.

A day earlier, Jayalalithaa had stepped up her attack on the BJP, terming its manifesto's promise to provide refuge to persecuted Hindus from other countries as "anti-secular." "Giving protection only to persecuted Hindus from abroad was against the principles of secularism. The AIADMK wants India to be a place of shelter for prosecuted Indians abroad belonging to all religions."

Earlier, in the last leg of campaigning in Madhya Pradesh, Modi addressed two meetings in Ratlam.  The region holds significance, as out of eight seats in the region, six are with the Congress while the saffron party has just two to its kitty.

In a short 13-minute speech, Modi blamed the Congress for destroying the country. "Desh ko loot liya. Barbad kar diya," he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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