Stalin launches campaign with scathing attack on PM Modi over electoral bonds, corruption

Stalin launches campaign with scathing attack on PM Modi over electoral bonds, corruption

Chief Minister and DMK president M.K. Stalin hit the campaign trail for the Lok Sabha election on Friday with a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the electoral bonds scheme had turned out to be a “Himalayan scam” that had brought shame to the country.

Countering Mr. Modi’s allegation of corruption against the DMK, Mr. Stalin said that the BJP leader had no right to speak about corruption. “The Prime Minister claims to have provided a corruption-free government over the past 10 years, but has no answer to the corruption charges against his government,” he said.

Over the past five years, raids had been conducted by the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI and the Income Tax Department to make people buy electoral bonds for the BJP, he alleged. “They have collected over ₹8,000 crore. It is unprecedented. They have mobilised funds under the PM Cares Fund, too,” Mr. Stalin said, addressing a public meeting in Siruganur in support of K.N. Arun Nehru, the DMK candidate for Perambalur, and Durai Vaiko, the MDMK candidate for Tiruchi.

The CAG report had exposed various irregularities and corruption in various projects such as the Bharatmala, Dwarka Expressway, HAL aircraft design, highway toll collection and Ayushman Bharat, he said. “The Rafale deal is another major scam. The Centre’s misdeeds would be exposed once the INDIA bloc is voted to power,” he said.

To hide its corruption and misdeeds, the BJP had turned “blatantly vindictive” by arresting Opposition leaders such as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he said, adding, “Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest clearly indicates that the fear of defeat has gripped the BJP.”

The BJP-led Centre was scared of the Opposition parties coming together under the INDIA bloc and the mobilisation of people against the Centre, he said.

He accused the BJP of failing to do anything for Tamil Nadu. “The BJP will only exploit the people, but never do any good for them. That’s why even when we use our own funds to provide assistance to people affected by natural calamities, they belittle such aid. They do not even give us our due share of the tax revenue collected from the State. For every rupee collected as tax from Tamil Nadu, we get back only 29 paise. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demeaned the assistance given to people by equating it to alms. Such arrogance will lead to the downfall of the BJP,” Mr. Stalin said.

The AIADMK, which “supported all the betrayals”, was now in a “secret alliance” with the BJP. After serving as the “palanquin bearers” for the BJP, the AIADMK was enacting a drama (of exiting the NDA) to cover up its misdeeds, he said. “The AIADMK’s drama will come to an end soon; and so will the fascist intents of the BJP,” he said.

The BJP, which is afraid to face the people, was using investigating agencies such as the ED, CBI and the Income Tax Department, and the Governor to browbeat the State government in a cowardly manner, he said.

“I have come here after attending the swearing-in of Minister K. Ponmudy by the Governor, thanks to the intervention of the Supreme Court. I told the Governor that I am starting my campaign from the Raj Bhavan; he wished me luck. I am sure that my journey will reach the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Mr. Stalin said.

MDMK leader Vaiko also attended the meeting.

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