KANCHEEPURAM (TAMIL NADU): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared to rename the Chennai Central Railway Station after former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran. In his first public rally in Tamil Nadu after his party inked a poll pact with the AIADMK and other parties, Modi said he was not bothered about threats and abuses against him and asserted that he would do whatever was needed to make the country strong. Addressing a Congress leader's remarks on “killing” him, he said, “I am not bothered about threats and abuses. Will do whatever it takes to make India strong.” He said the Opposition was guided by politics and selfish interests and they did not want a strong India or a strong armed force.
“Modi hatred is reaching new levels daily. There is a competition on who abuses him the most... some even abuse my lower cast.” He said the Opposition should clearly state their plan to take the nation forward and reiterate his “mahamilawat” alliance against them. Modi recalled that as many as 50 governments were dismissed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi using Article 356. Hitting out at the Dravidian party led by MK Stalin, he stated even the DMK had become a victim, and said “opportunism has prevailed over values.” Modi added, “We are also seriously thinking about ensuring that flights to and from Tamil Nadu have in-flight announcements in Tamil language.”
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to confer the Param Vir Chakra on Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. In a letter to Modi, Palaniswami said the IAF pilot, a native of Tamil Nadu, displayed amazing poise and confidence in the face of adverse condition and it would be appropriate he be awarded the highest military honour. He noted that Varthaman was released by Pakistan “due to the diplomatic initiatives” of the Prime Minister and “intense international pressure.”
The CM said, “Wing Commander Abhinandan Carthaman displayed amazing poise and confidence in the face of adverse conditions, which has won him many hearts across the country. It is appropriate that he be awarded India's highest military honour Param Vir Chakra (PVC) for displaying most inimitable gallantry and valour.” He added, “I request the Government of India to confer the nation's highest military honour, Param Vir Chakra, on Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.”
He recalled that the MiG-21 Bison aircraft piloted by Varthaman had shot down a Pakistan Air Force Fighter (F-16) when it tried to violate India's air space and that he was later taken into custody by Pakistani armed forces.