PM names Chennai Central Station After MGR

On his fourth visit to Tamil Nadu in less than 40 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the NDA’s election campaign in the state, seeking to invoke MGR’s legacy and Tamil pride.

At an official function that preceded the political rally, he announced that Chennai Central railway station would be named after AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran. He also made a slew of announcements on infrastructure projects in the pipeline. On the political stage hardly 100m away, he held hands with chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and PMK founder S Ramadoss, presenting a picture of a cohesive alliance.

The announcement about the station being named after MGR drew loud applause from AIADMK workers who shouted “Puratchi thalavir MGR vaazhga’ (long live revolutionary leader MGR). “MGR is the most respected icon of India. He ruled the film industry and the hearts of the people. MGR worked extensively for the downtrodden. His social welfare schemes helped fight poverty,” Modi said. The government is considering making it mandatory on flights to make announcements in Tamil, he said. While PMK leaders S Ramadoss and Anbumani Ramadoss rubbed shoulders with Modi and EPS, the alliance stage appeared to be waiting for DMDK leader Vijayakant.

Modi began his speech saying, the member of parliament of Kasi (referring to his constituency of Varanasi) has come to Kanchi (Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu). “Our bond is strong and unbreakable,” he said and praised the Tamil language. His government had been making continuous efforts towards development of TN, his government would fulfil the vision of ‘Amma’, he said, playing on sentiments of Jayalalithaa followers.

Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam said the nation had not seen a strong leader and Prime Minister like Modi. The CM requested Modi to extend support for the Godavari-Cauvery interlinking project to help farmers in the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu.

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