Vadakkum, Vanakkam! I am so happy that I am in Chennai just two days before the Tamil New Year. My best wishes to all my brothers and sisters here. I have of course been coming to Tamil Nadu very often and even though I am not from Tamil Nadu, I feel like one of you because right from childhood, my favourite dish is Idli-Sambar. You know, I don’t only like Idli, I like Dosa, I like Uttapa, I like Vada, I like Rasam.
I am really happy that we have all our Pramukh Karyakaratas here, all the Shakti Kendra In-charges and we are fighting this election not merely for a few Lok Sabha seats. We are not fighting only an ordinary election. This election is going to decide the destiny of India because the journey that Prime Minister Modi had started in 2014 still has a long way to go to make India – a super power in the world.
When we came into government in 2014, you will all remember the level of corruption that was there in the economic conditions, the Mehangai, inflation was in double digit, growth had stopped. We were called a fragile five economy – one of the weakest economies in the world. In five years, we have been able to control inflation, control mehangai and in the last five years, the mehangai has been the lowest in the last 70 years since independence.
Brick by brick, Prime Minister Modi has been building the foundation of a strong India and today, we are the world’s fastest growing large economy. You all know that when we have to build a building. Let’s say we have to build this beautiful building – this hall, how does it start? First, you make plans – design, drawing. Then, you hire people and then, to start construction, first you have to build a foundation. So, you dig a hole, take out all the mud and start building a foundation.
Please don’t add too many things. No, seriously. When you draw up the design of the building, obviously, it’s a beautiful design. But you get that beautiful design on the first day or you have to work hard for it. Make the foundation, make sure the foundation is made properly and then, you start building each floor. Then, you start making the walls, the doors, the fittings and then, a beautiful building comes out – a beautiful home is made. When the building is being constructed, a lot of dirt comes out also. You make a big hole where is foundation is made. You have to also out the dirt aside. You can’t leave it around. You have to remove it from there and put it in some place or put it in some ground.
Now, think of what Prime Minister Modi has been doing. For the last five years, he has been working day and night with a clear design, with a clear blueprint of what kind of a nation, we have to make but working by cleaning the mess that we had inherited. Building a foundation for a strong and powerful India and preparing the nation so that we can become truly the most developed country in the world.
Therefore, when some people ask questions, that all the problems of the country are not resolved. Obviously, all problems cannot be resolved but the process of resolving those problems has been taken forward with a very-very fast speed. After all in the country, only 34 per cent people had a toilet in their home or in their village. Two out of three ladies – our sisters, our mothers, our daughters – did not have a toilet. Imagine from sunrise to sunset, if two out of three ladies in the country could not use toilet. Isn’t that a matter of shame for this country?
Modiji solved that problem. Today, almost every house in the country has a toilet and our women have dignity. From independence until 2014, we had given 13 crore LPG gas connections in 65 years. In five years alone, almost the same number of LPG gas connections have been given. What happened in 65 years happened in five years. And 7 crore 10 lakhs out of that are free LPG connection for the poor.
Do you think it was a good thing that women had to take 400 cigarettes of smoke in their body every day cooking in the old fashion and look at the disaster on their health – the impact on their health. Crores of families did not have electricity in their house – crores of families. Crores of children did not have electricity to study. Was that good for the country?
We have made sure almost every house in the country today has electricity. Only a person who has experienced what life is in a poor family, somebody who has lived poverty, who has experienced poverty can have a heart, compassion, samvedana – to understand the problems of the poor. Modiji himself has lived in very difficult circumstances and, therefore, he understands what is important for the people of India.
Just like my brother, S. Nandkumar from Central Chennai just now asked about the water problem of Tamil Nadu. Modi Ji understands what the water problem of Tamil Nadu is – because he himself has experienced the difficulty of water that Gujarat had once upon a time before he became Chief Minister.
Modi Ji took canal system to the remotest parts of Gujarat and wherever canal could not go, he took big-big pipelines but today, the whole desert area of Saurashtra has water. Similarly, if you remember in 2002, Atal Bihari Vajpayee – Prime Minister – had started the project for inter-linking of rivers. Suresh Prabhu was the chairman of the task force for inter-linking of rivers which Atal Ji had made and I was also a member of that task force. We had studied various links by which we can connect the different rivers so that wherever there is excess water, it can be moved to other areas where there is a shortage of water.
Unfortunately, in 2004, we lost the election and Congress-DMK came into power in Delhi – in the central government. I requested the Congress government that please continue this inter-linking of rivers project. At best, you can remove Suresh Prabhu, you can remove me, you can remove Hari Babu – we were three people who were political but keep the project alive. You put your people but implement the project. They have wound up the task force and for ten years, did not do anything for inter-linking of rivers.
After Modi Ji became Prime Minister, he has once again started the project for inter-linking of rivers and Nitin Gadkari Ji has already drawn up elaborate plans for the first four or five links – one of which is the Godawari-Cauvery link. Therefore, in our Sankalp Patra –manifesto which we released on 8th of April – we have announced that we will create a statutory authority – Apradhikaran – which will implement the inter-linking of rivers project.
For this, we will be creating a new Ministry only for water problems of the country called Jal Shakti. The Jal Shakti Ministry’s work will be looking after all the problems of water in the country. In fact, Mr. Rajnikant Ji has also been talking about this and he has welcomed this decision of Modi Ji. Mr. Rajnikant has also been demanding.
In the meantime, for a short teem solution – we will also see if we can do desalination of water in a big way so that the coastal area’s drinking water problem can be solved. Also, we can in a big way take up the project for providing…
Warm welcome to Mr. Sam Paul and former Minister Ms Indira to our programme. Thank you very much for coming, Madam. So, as I was saying the water problem will… So, water problem of Chennai, water problem of Tamil Nadu will be our problem and we will solve it. Because now, you will not have only Modi Ji’s government in the Centre. Now, the NDA will have state government and the central government working like a double engine so that progress is fast. And then, we will soon have bullet train also coming to Chennai.
Where is Chandru? Chandru – even any new project when we start – you have to first start one project like which we have started from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, 508 kilometers. The Japanese will give us technology and financing. Once we receive that, then our engineers from Integral Coach Factory in Chennai will be competent to make bullet train here. But till that time, I am happy and proud that our engineers from Chennai, our workers from Integral Coach Factory have already made a semi-high speed train called ‘Vande Bharat’ which is working from Delhi to Banaras. It was so successful that I have already ordered 100 more trains and we will make sure that a Vande Bharat Express goes from Chennai to Bengaluru also. But sadly, Rahul Gandhi Ji cannot appreciate the good work of our engineers. When there was a small technical problem, he started making fun of our engineers from Chennai, of engineers of Integral Coach Factory. I think Rahul Gandhi Ji does not want production in India. He wants India to import trains from Italy.
But I can assure you that we are proud of our young boys and girls. We are proud of our workmen who have made a world-class train which will start serving the people of India. Today, we are all working together as National Democratic Alliance which is the biggest and best alliance that Tamil Nadu has ever seen. Look at Chennai, we have Chennai South candidate Jayavardhan from AIADMK, we have Chennai North candidate Alagapuram Mohanraj from DMDK and we have Chennai central DMK’s Mr. Sam Paul. We are all together as one.
And every BJP Karyakarata will work for the victory of every seat in Tamil Nadu. Nair Padam Name and you don’t need to translate. Nair Padam Name, Nair Padam Name, Nair Padam Name. And Nadam Namade, Nadam Namade, Nadam Namade…And we are all the Chowkidars. We will be the Chowkidars to make sure that on 18th of April, everybody should come out and vote. And not a single supporter of this alliance is left out.
We have to make sure every member of our family, every relative, every neighbour, everybody who we know will go out and vote before 10.30 in the morning so that before the Sun rises too high and it becomes hot, we have all cast our vote and the world can see that the NDA alliance partners are all on the street going to vote in large numbers. Each one of us has to focus on our booth. Don’t worry about what is happening in the rest of the country, or rest of Chennai, or rest of Tamil Nadu. Let us all focus on our area, our booth so that maximum voting takes place for the alliance.
Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot… Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot… And we should have a competition whose booth gives the maximum margin of victory. And tell everybody, first we have to vote, then we can have breakfast, lunch, Idli, Vada, Sambar, whatever we want.
I hope you remember there is prohibition in this state also. Most importantly, all of us as Chowkidars have responsibility to our people, to our state, and to our country. Every vote that we will get is a vote to make Modi Ji – the Prime Minister of India.
So, do I have a promise that every Kavalkaran will make sure that all our three candidates of Chennai will win with a big victory. By the way, Kavalkaran was a movie in which Jayalalitha Ji and MGR were there. And I must tell you Amma treated Modi Ji like a brother, like a family member. In fact, I had a very good meeting with Amma just few months before her unfortunate passing away and it was an absolutely wonderful meeting. She treated me like a younger brother. We have also named the Chennai Central station after MGR.
So, as a tribute to late MGR, as a tribute to respected Amma – it is our duty, all of us to vote together as one family – the NDA family and these three Chowkidars to Delhi to help the Pradhan Chowkidar do his job. And then, Ms. Jessy Muralidharan will not have to worry about schemes not reaching the poor because these three Chowkidars of ours will work under the leadership of Modi Ji and takes the schemes to every house.
You are all party workers. So, I will not go down to tell you all the work that has happened in five years and a lot of work has happened. I will not tell you about our Sankalp Patra in which we have laid out the vision how we will make India a developed world. I think all of us – Karyakaratas know that, our Karyakaratas trust Prime Minister Modi. But one thing, I will certainly like to say – to promote and protect the rich Tamil culture, the rich traditions, the rich heritage of Tamil, the Tamil language, the Tamil people of Tamil Nadu – we need Prime Minister Modi.
April 10, 2019 Speaking at Press Conference, in Mumbai