The Hindu Business Line
At Thoothukudi rally, Amit Shah lashes out at Congress manifesto
BJP President Amit Shah addressing a campaign meeting in Thoothukudi on Tuesday BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress manifesto that had envisioned plans to downsize the presence of the Army and CAPFs in the Kashmir Valley.
“By downsizing the Army from the Valley, what message is the Congress trying to give to this country? Is Kashmir not part of India? Instead of boosting our soldiers, who are protecting the the Valley and our borders, the Congress is trying to demoralise them,” Shah told at a public rally in Thoothukudi during his election campaign, seeking support for party’s Thoothukudi Lok Sabha candidate Tamilisai Soundararajan.
The Congress manifesto released today promised to review the deployment of armed forces, move more troops to the border to stop infiltration completely, reduce the presence of the army and CAPFs in the Kashmir Valley, and entrust more responsibility to the J&K police for maintaining law and order.
Shah further said the Congress’ partner Omar Abdullah said that there would be be a prime minister inside the Kashmir valley. Congress should clarify whether it accepts Abdullah’s statement or not. “How can there be two prime ministers in this country?” Shah asked.
“I would like to clarify that whatever the Congress may say, Kashmir is part of India and nobody can snatch it from us,” he said at the rally attended by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami.
“While we are attacking the Pakistanis in retaliation for the Pulwama attacks, the Opposition is saying talk to them. How can we remain silent when we are being attacked?” he asked.
At the rally, Shah invoked the sentiments of local people by stating that in the Pulwama attack, two soldiers from Tamil Nadu, including one from Thoothukudi, died. He also lauded the bravery of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who hails from Tamil Nadu. The BJP president also blasted the Congress and the DMK combine for fielding ‘corrupt’ politicians such as Kanimozhi (in Thoothukudi), A Raja (Nilgiris) and Karthi Chidambaram (in Sivaganga) in the Lok Sabha elections to be held in Tamil Nadu on April 18.
Shah promised that on returning to power, the Centre would continue to provide its full support, including financial, to Tamil Nadu.
During the UPA government in which the Congress and DMK were in alliance, the 13th Finance Commission had allocated a paltry sum of ₹94,000 crore to Tamil Nau. However, under the NDA rule, in the 14th Finance Commission, a sum of ₹5.42 lakh crore was allotted to Tamil Nadu.
Some of the projects allotted to Tamil Nadu by the NDA government include AIIMS at Madurai (₹1,200 crore); National Highways projects worth ₹23,000 crore; railway projects worth ₹20,000 crore; Bharatmala projects worth ₹40,000 crore; Sagarmala projects worth ₹1.10 lakh crore and Enayam (International Transhipment Container terminal) project (₹28,000 crore), said Shah.
Chief Minister Palaniswami blasted the DMK for spreading false information concerning Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi, which has been shut since last June due to alleged high levels of pollution.
In 2000, when the DMK was in power and MK Stalin was then the industry minister, Sterlite was allotted 243 acres of land for the plant’s expansion. “Having supported the company then, the DMK is now blaming the AIADMK government for all the problems in the plant,” he said. In Thoothukudi, State BJP president Tamilisai is taking on late DMK leader Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi.