Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy attended a function on Wednesday at Karambakkam in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.
The occasion was the inauguration of central government projects by the Prime Minister, for which there was massive deployment of state and the central forces. It is a given that it is taxpayer money that is used to organise such events.
However, this was not just a one-off event. In the past 40 days, Modi has visited Tamil Nadu four times for such events.
At the time of Kanchipuram event, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had also arranged a big public meeting for the election campaign close to this official function venue. The meeting was addressed by AIADMK alliance partners, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and other.
Similarly, a BJP public meeting on the election was organised near an official function venue in Tirupur in the past, where Prime Minister Modi gave an election campaign speech.
‘Misuse of Government Ceremonies’
Raising concern over Modi’s repeated visits to the state and commenting on the neglect of Tamil Nadu by the Centre on many issues earlier, K Balakrishnan, State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said: “In the last four and half years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not take the problems and demands of the people in Tamil Nadu into account. He did not even come to the 10 delta districts which were hit by the Gaja cyclones. But now, the PM comes to Tamil Nadu only with the motive of election campaign.”
Balakrishnan also lashed out at the AIADMK government and their allies, alleging misuse of state government employees and officials by spending taxpayer money in the name of government functions. “This is leading to the burial of democracy,” he said.
In a press statement, the Tamil Nadu unit of the CPI(M), has demanded that the Chief Electoral Officer of the state take action against this violation and misuse of Central and State government employees as well as public money.
Whenever the Prime Minister visit Tamil Nadu, social media users start a campaigned against his visit using the hashtag #gobackmodi. This became the No 1 trend in Twitter on Wednesday.
Even during the Cauvery river issue, when Modi had come to Tamil Nadu, all the Opposition parties and social activists had protested against him with the black flags. A similar campaign was carried out this time as well.
Behind the ‘Official Screen’
The Opposition parties also allege that poll alliance talks and deals are being worked out behind the ‘official screen’.
The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) -- the other two major political parties in the State have not officially declared their alliance with the AIADMK or DMK. But when the AIADMK and BJP public meetings were held on Wednesday, they placed very big banners with the photo of their leaders’ behind the stage of the public meeting.
In fact, before the public meeting, the BJP in-charge of the state and Union Minister Piyush Goyal reportedly held a lengthy negotiation with the DMDK representatives. Finally, just before the meeting, the regional parties hastily removed their banner, reports said.