Prime Minister Narendra Modi took on Tamil Nadu's opposition DMK today over its senior leader A Raja's insult to Chief Minister E Palaniswami, calling him an ''outdated 2G missile''. He also recalled the episode in Tamil Nadu Assembly on March 25, 1989, when the late AIADMK chief and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa (then the leader of opposition) was attacked allegedly by DMK leaders and asked the people to ''never forget'' that day.
Criticism has been heaped on the party -- which is hoping to dislodge Mr Palaniswami's government this time -- over the remark of the former Union minister.
Without naming Mr Raja, PM Modi said the Congress and the DMK have launched their ''outdated 2G missile''. The missile, he added, has one clear target -- the women of Tamil Nadu.
"A few days ago, this missile was launched by the UPA with a clear order to attack the nari shakti (women power) of Tamil Nadu. Today the Congress and the DMK have insulted the respected mother of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami," the Prime Minister said. "God forbid, if they come to power, they will insult many other women of Tamil Nadu," he added.
"PM Modi has lied as always," said DMK chief MK Stalin. Refering to the event of March 25, 1989, when the DMK and the AIADMK members had clashed in the assembly and Jayalalithaa was caught in it, he said, "It was a conspiracy to trigger unrest in the Tamil Nadu Assembly to sack the DMK government".
The Prime Minister, he said, should speak with evidence. Former AIADMK MLA Thirunavukarasar, who sat next to Jayalalithaa, had shared the truth in the assembly," he added.
Mr Raja, in a recent campaign speech, had heaped insults on the Chief Minister, making unparliamentary remarks about his birth and saying he was "worth a rupee less than Stalin's slipper".
On Sunday, campaigning for the April 6 elections, Mr Palaniswami almost broke down. "My mother was poor but worked hard all her life. Now she is no more. Whether poor or rich, a mother's position and status is high. If this can happen to a man who is chief minister, think about what will happen to ordinary people like you," he told his audience.
"I did not want to raise this issue but I couldn't stop myself, seeing the women here... what protection do your mothers and women have if this is what the mother of the Chief Minister has to endure? You can imagine what will happen if they come to power," he had added.
The ruling AIADMK also asked the Election Commission to stop Mr Raja from campaigning.
Shortly after, Mr Raja had apologised, saying his remarks were "not a personal criticism" but an "estimate and comparison of two personalities in public life."
Asking the Congress and DMK leadership to control their party leaders, PM Modi – whose BJP is an ally of the ruling AIADMK -- said the people of Tamil Nadu are noting everything and they would never tolerate any insult to women.