Narendra Modi’s charm seems to be spreading in the south as well with his Thursday rally pulling an impressive crowd.
He, however, steered a careful course, avoiding any mention of Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK or its opponent DMK, indicating the BJP’s intentions to plough alone in the state where alliances are key to winning any of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu.Modi asked people to throw out the “weak, inept and indifferent” government at the centre and questioned them if the PM ought to be talking with Pakistan when militants were killing “our jawans and policemen in Jammu and Kashmir.” The crowds responded with a resounding NO. “Prime minister, BJP or I am not saying it. This is the voice of Tamils in Tamil Nadu,” Modi said.
AIADMK leaders said they were a bit disappointed that Modi made no mention of Jayalalithaa’s style of governance and its impact on Tamil Nadu’s growth in recent years even though he enjoys personal rapport with her.
The response of the crowds, comparable in size and enthusiasm to the ones that Jayalalithaa attracted for her campaign in the 2011 polls at the same G Circle grounds, enthused and emboldened BJP district leaders.
“We would rather have an understanding with DMDK of Captain Vijayakanth, Vaiko’s MDMK and PMK of Ramadoss rather than go with a big Dravidian party like the AIADMK,” said D Mohandas, a Vellore district level office bearer, reflecting the mood of many workers after Modi’s speech.
Earlier, addressing the 60th birthday celebrations of renowned spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi aka Amma at her ashram in Kollam, Modi spoke in Malayalam for more than five minutes. Among the speakers on the occasion were Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Senior Metropolitan Bishop of Mar Thoma Church, Mohammed Masthan Khalifa Sahib, high priest of Nagore Dargah, Swami Prakashananda, President of Sivagiri Math and Nobel laureate Dr. Leland H Hartwell.“Now there is a talk of inclusive growth. But this is nothing new for India. This has been the message given by our sages since ages,” he said.