The BJP in Tamil Nadu decided to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday by gifting gold rings to newborns on Monday. The recipient of the first ring is a baby boy. State BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan, who is a gynaecologist, gifted the ring to the baby born at a hospital run by the Chennai civic body.
Sathish Kumar, the father of the baby who received the ring, is a driver and his wife Sri Durga is a home maker. "We are proud that our baby shares his birthday with Prime Minister Modi. I want him to become a doctor and hope he too becomes the Prime Minister one day," said Sathish Kumar. The baby's grandmother told NDTV, "We would give a name that begins with the syllable "Mo" in honour of Prime Minister Modi".
The BJP in Tamil Nadu tweeted birthday greetings to the Prime Minister saying "Happy birthday to the world's most powerful and popular leader."
Happy birthday to the world's most powerful and popular leader— BJP Tamilnadu (@BJP4TamilNadu) September 17, 2018
May God give him with good health and strength to fulfil his vision of transforming India into a strong, developed and progressive Nation #HappyBDayPMModi#TamilNaduCelebratesModipic.twitter.com/2V6YT4UJzM
It is not a first in Tamil Nadu for political parties give away expensive items to mark key events. In February, the AIADMK marked the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, by presenting gold rings to seven babies born on that day. Minister D Jayakumar visited the Government Raja Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar hospital in Royapuram and gave the gold rings to the newborns.
When asked whether her party is trying to influence voters, copying the ruling AIADMK's culture of gifting gold rings during late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's tenure Ms Soundararaja nsaid, "This is an old hospital serving the local community. We are gifting people as part of Prime Minister Modi's birthday celebrations. We are not following the culture of Dravidian parties for votes".
The BJP has a very negligible presence in Tamil Nadu. In the last Lok Sabha elections, the party's alliance won just two seats, joining hands with DMDK, PMK and a few smaller parties. They could not win any seat in the assembly elections.
PM Modi, who turned 68 today, is spending the day at his constituency in Varanasi. The Prime Minister is scheduled to offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and later watch a film "Chalo Jeete Hain" inspired by his life along with a few school children. PM Modi is also likely to launch some developmental projects, including extension of the Babatpur-Shivpur Road. He is also likely to launch projects at the Banaras Hindu University.
Birthday greetings have started pouring in on Twitter for PM Modi. President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted greetings to the Prime Minister. "Birthday greetings to our Prime Minister. Wish him a long life and many years of dedicated service to the people of the country," said the President.