Rajnath Singh slams Tamil Nadu CM Stalin’s ‘duplicity’ over Senthil Balaji arrest | India News

CHENNAI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday lashed out at DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin for his “duplicity of character” over arrest of his cabinet colleague V Senthil Balaji by enforcement directorate (ED), dubbing as “anti-constitutional” the recent nabbing of a state BJP functionary by the police. Amid some strains in ties between his party, BJP, and ally AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Singh said the saffron party values its partners and the NDA led by it “is not a compulsion but a commitment.”
Singh was effusive in his praise of AIADMK stalwart, the late J Jayalalithaa, fondly recalling her party’s support to the earlier A B Vajpayee-led NDA regime and even addressed her as “Puratchi Thalaivi Jaya Amma” (revolutionary leader Jayalalithaa). Amma, as AIADMK workers address her, means mother in Tamil.
Addressing a public meeting at suburban Tambaram to commemorate the nine years of the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP senior trained his guns against his “friend” Stalin over the arrest of Balaji, picked up by the ED in a cash-for-jobs scam, saying the CM questions the action of central agencies.
“The CM, my friend Stalin, talks of weakening of democracy, raises question marks over investigating agencies and attempts to demean the PM,” he said.
“Senthil Balaji has been arrested in a corruption case and Stalin had earlier called him corrupt (when Balaji was not in DMK) and demanded his arrest. Now when his demand is met, he calls it vendetta. This duplicity of character is unacceptable,” Singh said.
Referring to the arrest of BJP state secretary S G Suryah last week, reportedly over a tweet, he said it was “anti-constitutional”.
Pointing out at the CM’s namesake and Russian dictator Joseph Stalin, Singh wondered if the DMK chief “took the name too seriously and is putting the spirit of democracy in danger”.
“I want to appeal to all political parties in Tamil Nadu, democracy should thrive,” he said, adding all of them should play a positive role in this.
The Union minister listed out the various initiatives delivered by the Modi-led dispensation for the welfare of Tamils in the state as well as in neighbouring Sri Lanka, even as he asserted that the installation of the ‘Sengol’ (sceptre) in the new Parliament building by the PM recently reflected Tamil Nadu’s contribution.
Noting that it was well-known that his party is in alliance with the K Palaniswami-led AIADMK, Singh said “we value our partners because NDA is not a compulsion but a commitment”.
“We cannot forget — Puratchi Thalaivi Jaya Amma — had supported the NDA government under (the late PM) Vajpayee,” he said.
Jayalalithaa was “Tamil Nadu’s daughter” whose main objective was to work for the poor and give them dignity, he said.
PM Modi was working on similar lines, making all efforts to empower the weaker sections.
Further, like Vajpayee, Modi has a personal relationship with Tamil Nadu and he was also working for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils, Singh added.
He pointed out to the various initiatives from the Centre for Tamil Nadu and underscored the PM’s commitment for its overall progress.
The defence corridor was one of them and he as Defence Minister was exhorting investors to invest in the state, Singh said.
Regarding the Sengol placed in the Parliament, he said it was a symbol of justice and freedom and the whole country has now started talking about it. Its installation in the new Parliament building has ushered in a new era, he opined.
Highlighting the strides made by the country in various sectors under the PM’s leadership, Rajnath said today India is counted among the powerful nations and countries were keen to know what it had to say on many issues.
He said Modi ensured pausing of hostilities during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war for four-and-half hours to enable Indian students stuck in Ukraine to leave. He had talked to Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, besides US President Joe Biden for this purpose.
He said Modi was scheduled to address a joint sitting of the US Congress for a second time as PM during his ongoing tour there.
The country’s image has changed before the eyes of the world, as many see it as powerful and not weak, he added. Modi was a respected leader among his peers today, he said and pointed out at the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea touching his feet recently during the leader’s visit there.
Today, the world “knows India doesn’t provoke any country but won’t spare if someone provokes it”, Singh said.
He highlighted the significant progress made in the areas of per capita income, economy, metro rail connectivity, setting up of AIIMS across the country, Covid management with focus on vaccine production and even sharing it with other countries under PM Modi. The world was praising Modi’s economic management while the PM must be credited for all the progress in various development indicators, he said.
“India is now counted among countries with 5G (mobile) connectivity. PM has started preparations for 6G connectivity,” he said.
The country had a robust manufacturing sector and it was second behind China in making mobile phone handsets.
From being an importer of even small defence components, the country was now a major exporter of defence equipment, he said.
On corruption, he recalled former PM late Rajiv Gandhi ruing that not all of the central funds reached the common man and said it was not the case now as Direct Benefit Transfer was useful in addressing the issue.
Despite these developments, the opposition was launching “vicious attacks” against Modi and the government, he said.
The difference between BJP and other political parties was that “they do politics to do (form) government” but the saffron party does politics for the welfare of the country and the society, he added.
It does not discriminate based on religion and promotes the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world being one family).
“Development is above partisan politics for us,” he said.
Singh also called for a clear mandate for the BJP to “uproot corruption in Tamil Nadu”.
The Defence Minister said he will be participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations onboard INS Vikrant in Kerala on Wednesday.

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