MK Stalin’s ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ Twist As PM, BJP Court Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (File).


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has thrown down a list of dares to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, challenging him to guarantee, among other things, an inquiry into the electoral bonds row, recovery of areas “encroached by China”, and a caste census, if his Bharatiya Janata Party wins the election.

The Prime Minister has also been challenged to roll back notified amendments to the citizenship law and ensure immediate distribution of disaster relief funds, a burning topic that last week saw the state government take the centre to the Supreme Court for a Rs 2,000 crore interim relief package.

Mr Stalin’s twist on the ‘Modi ki guarantee‘ tag – which the BJP uses frequently in election campaigns, including in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha poll – came in a lengthy post in Tamil on X, and as the PM attacked the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in his eighth visit to the state this year.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also took a swipe at the Prime Minister’s many trips to the southern state – which has traditionally rejected the BJP’s brand of politics – comparing it to migratory birds.

“Just like birds come to a sanctuary during the season, Prime Minister hovers over Tamil Nadu during election season. Prime Minister, who has come with guarantee card… will you give these guarantees?”

Mr Stalin wasn’t the first to aim a “migratory bird” jibe at the Prime Minister. Last month Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress referred to him as such, one who surfaces just before an election.

“Otherwise, your ‘warranty’ is once again exposed as a ‘Made in BJP’ washing machine that smears corruption tainted with saffron!” the DMK boss thundered in his social media post.

The list of guarantees demanded included reservation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and Other Backward Classes) and assurances of employment for two crore young men and women every year.

READ | Congress Manifesto Focuses On Jobs, Promises Caste Census

Reservations for marginalised groups – past the Supreme Court’s 50 per cent cap – were also mentioned by the Congress in its manifesto, which the PM called an “imprint of Muslim League”.

Mr Stalin also demanded the Prime Minister vow to exempt Tamil Nadu from the NEET – the National Eligibility Entrance Test, for admission to pan-India medical courses. Tamil Nadu is a fierce critic of the exam; in February last year it moved the Supreme Court claiming the single-window common test violates federal principles since it takes away states’ decision-making ability regarding education.

The Chief Minister also wanted Mr Modi to reduce petrol, diesel, and LPG (cooking gas cylinder) prices, implement the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations on minimum support price, or MSP, for farmers, and cancel the military’s Agnipath scheme.

READ | Centre vs South States Over “Unfair Allocation” Of Funds

The long list of ‘guarantee’ demands mirrored promises made by the DMK in its manifesto for this election. Released last month, the document says the Tamil party will repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act and, overall, review the BJP’s “anti-people laws”.

READ | ‘One Nation, One Election’, CAA In DMK’s Lok Sabha Poll Manifesto

“The DMK continues to do what we say… this is what our leaders taught us. We went all over the state and listened to the people. This is not a DMK manifesto… it is the people’s manifesto,” Mr Stalin said.

Among the promises made were cutting petrol and diesel prices to Rs 75 and Rs 65 per litre, scrapping of the Uniform Civil Code, and 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies.

PM Modi In Tamil Nadu

Earlier today the Prime Minister spoke at rallies in Mettupalayam and Vellore, at which he attacked the DMK and the Congress-led INDIA opposition bloc, of which it is a member.

The speeches included jabs at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and the Chief Minister’s son, Udhayanidhi Stalin, who was at the heart of the ‘Sanatana Dharma‘ controversy.

READ | PM’s “Remember Jayalalithaa” DMK Jab In Solo Tamil Nadu Fight

It also included a reference to the late former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa; her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was an ally till a dramatic break-up last year.

Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Election

Tamil Nadu votes in the first phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election.

The results will be declared on June 4. In the 2019 election the DMK-Congress alliance swept the state, winning 38 of its 39 seats. The DMK won 24, the Congress 10, and the AIADMK one. The BJP got zero.

With input from PTI

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