MADURAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at critics of the 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections, stating some persons in Tamil Nadu were creating an “atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust” to serve their interest. At a well-attended BJP rally in the state, Modi took a swipe at the proposed grand alliance of the opposition parties, saying they had set aside their differences to “remove this watchman” in the coming Lok Sabha polls. He also said his government was taking effective steps to rid the country of corruption and nepotism. In an apparent reference to economic offenders Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi, Modi said, “Any person who has cheated or looted the country shall be brought to justice.”
Modi asserted that the provision of 10 per cent quota to economically weaker sections (EWS) in the general category will in no way impact the existing reservation benefits for Dalits, Tribals, and others. He urged the youth to “reject forces of negativity”. The EWS quota had been earmarked with the “spirit” of providing opportunities to all in education and employment. “This decision has been taken in such a way that it doesn't affect Dalit, tribals” and others. He said, “It is unfortunate that an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is being created by some people in Tamil Nadu to serve their interest.”
Addressing a meeting in Thrissur, he also raked up the Sabarimala temple issue and said the communist government in the state has been disrespecting all aspects of Kerala's culture. “Unfortunately today, the cultural ethos of Kerala is under attack. And this attack is being made by the party governing the state. The issue of the Sabarimala temple caught the attention of the entire nation. The people of India are seeing the manner in which the communist government of Kerala is disrespecting all aspects of Kerala's culture. I fail to understand why the communists are undermining our culture and civilisation which has stood the test of time. The UDF too is just like the communists,” Modi said.
He lambasted both, the Congress and Left Democratic Front (LDF) for having no regard for women's empowerment, best exemplified by their opposition to the NDA government's efforts to end triple talaq. “Let me tell you, neither Congress nor the communists have any concern for women's empowerment. If they did, they would not have opposed the NDA government's effort to end trible talaq. India has had many women chief ministers, but is there any communist chief minister?” he asked.
The PM charged the opposition with being “politically bankrupt”. “Four years ago you chose me as your chowkidar (guard) in Delhi. I am there. I shall not allow corruption. I shall not allow the nation's culture and unity to be destroyed,” he said.