Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept his speech in Madurai in Tamil Nadu unusually short as hashtag wars erupted on social media both against his visit to the southern Indian state and in his favour. Speaking after laying the foundation of the AIIMS, Modi targeted his opponents for creating an atmosphere of negativity against him in the state.
Modi, who spoke for around 10 minutes in a prepared speech in English, said, “It’s unfortunate that an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is being created by a few people in Tamil Nadu to serve their own selfish interest. I urge all of you to remain vigilant against such negativity. Any political thought which opposes poor can’t ever benefit anyone.”
Modi said that opposition parties were ganging up against him because he had acted against corruption. Ironically, his comments came on a day when a CBI officer was transferred for filing an FIR against the prime minister’s friend and former CEO of ICICI, Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar.
He said, “The Union government is taking effective steps to rid the country of corruption and nepotism. Any person, who has cheated or looted the country shall be brought to the justice. This is regardless whether he is in India or abroad.”
Modi’s known friend Chanda Kochhar is accused of quid pro quo in the Rs 3,250 crore scam. The whistle-blower, who first unearthed the scam, had said that he informed Modi and his finance minister Arun Jaitley about the it more than a year ago, but both decided to look the other way. Last week, when the Modi government’s own probe agency, the CBI, filed an FIR against Kochhars and Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot for cheating in the Rs 3,250 crore scam, Jaitley had reacted angrily, blaming the federal probe agency for resorting to adventurism.
A day after Jaitley’s astonishing attack on the CBI, the officer, Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, who was the Superintendent of Police in the agency’s Banking and Securities Fraud Cell, was shifted to CBI’s Economic Offences Branch in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
A huge social media hashtag war had erupted ahead of Modi’s Tamil Nadu visit with angry protesters expressing their disgust over Modi for not visiting the state last year when cyclone Gaja devastated the state. The cyclone had left more than 3 lakh people homeless, while crippling the lives of a large swathe of the state’s population. More than 11 lakh tress too were uprooted by the nature’s fury last year.
If that was not enough, he also shared stage with corruption-tainted Tamil Nadu health minister C Vijaya Baskar. Not too long ago, Bhaskar’s own father had told the Income Tax officials that his son collected bribes from job aspirants for the nutrition meal schemes.
Similar charges of corruption have also been levelled against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his O Panneerselvam.