Invoking "Tamil pride", BJP youth wing national chief Poonam Mahajan today highlighted the welfare initiatives undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Tamil Nadu fishermen and asserted that the time was ripe for the lotus to bloom "everywhere in the state". Asking if "Tamil pride" was ever "respected" during the previous UPA regime at the Centre, she said though votes were garnered by invoking it, it was quickly forgotten by the political parties once they reached Delhi. That was not the case with the BJP, which had resolved to stand by the people of Tamil Nadu, she claimed. Addressing a state BJP youth wing rally here, Mahajan listed the Centre's recent initiatives, including a Rs-1,500 crore plan to convert bottom trawlers into deep sea long- liners for the fishermen of the state. The plan was announced by the prime minister last month when he inaugurated a memorial of former president A P J Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram. Lauding the late Kalam, Mahajan said Modi had shown respect to the former president and taken forward his initiatives, including the 'blue revolution' for the fishermen. Modi had said his government would usher in a 'blue revolution' by developing the country's coastal regions and working for the welfare of the fishermen. "The fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were stuck in Sri Lanka, were also brought back expeditiously," said Mahajan. She added that during his visit to the island nation, Modi had met "our Tamil brothers and sisters" there, a "first" by an Indian prime minister. Referring to the current political scenario in the state, Mahajan took potshots at DMK working president M K Stalin for "taking lessons" from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Repeating the "lessons" jibe used by senior BJP leader Muralidhar Rao, who spoke before her, she wondered why did Gandhi not opt for a bulletproof car during his recent visit to Gujarat's Banaskantha district, where a cement brick was hurled at the Congress vice-president's car. "We don't want to throw stones at people who do nothing for the nation.
We would use our hands to do better things for the country," said the BJP leader. Referring to the two major Dravidian parties, she said, "The sun (DMK's poll symbol) is setting, the leaves (two leaves, the AIADMK's poll symbol) are falling apart and what we have to do now is see that the lotus blooms everywhere (in Tamil Nadu)." Expressing satisfaction at the turnout at the rally, Mahajan said if this was the BJP youth wing's "trailer", the film would be "super hit". Likening Modi with the "real sun", she said the prime minister was "burning himself" without even taking a single holiday to serve the people. Anyone could directly connect with the prime minister through the "Modi app", she said and asked if it was possible to do the same with leaders like Stalin. Beginning and ending her speech with "vanakkam", the BJP leader said she would try and speak in Tamil the next time and be a "Tamil sister". The rally was held to urge the Tamil Nadu government to conduct the local body polls soon, shut down the state-run liquor outlets and improve the standard of education in government schools. Mahajan also called on actor Rajinikanth yesterday and visited the house of a party functionary today. Posting photographs with the actor on her Twitter handle, she wrote, "One of the most humble couples I have ever met Lathaji and Thalaiva @superstarrajini ji (sic)." The BJP has been wooing Rajinikanth of late. The actor has recently hinted that he may consider joining politics.
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