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‘They are looting tax money and insulting ISRO scientists’: PM Modi attacks DMK in Toothukudi over Ad featuring Chinese rocket

"They did not want to present India's space success in front of the world, they insulted our scientists, our space sector, and your tax money. Now it's high time that the DMK is punished for their deeds," PM Modi said.

On Wednesday (28th February), Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam over a newspaper advertisement that featured a ‘Chinese rocket’. DMK released the ad in several newspapers on the occasion of the launch of ISRO’s second rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu, but the print ad featured a rocket with the Chinese flag painted on it.

The Prime Minister further slammed the DMK for ‘looting’ people’s tax money and stated that the state government humiliated scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) who participated in the country’s successful space projects, including Chandrayaan 3.

“DMK is a party that does not work but stands ahead to take false credit. These people paste their stickers on our schemes. Now they have crossed the limits, they have pasted China’s sticker to take credit for the ISRO launch pad in Tamil Nadu,” PM Modi said while addressing a gathering in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. He also stated that the DMK is ‘not ready’ to acknowledge India’s success in the space industry.

“They are not ready to accept India’s progress in the space sector and with the taxes that you pay, they give advertisements and do not even include a picture of India’s space in it. They did not want to present India’s space success in front of the world, they insulted our scientists, our space sector, and your tax money. Now it’s high time that the DMK is punished for their deeds,” PM Modi said.

He went on to accuse the Congress and DMK of ‘dividing’ the nation. “India commemorated the Pran Pratishtha of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. A resolution was introduced in the Parliament a few days ago on this topic. All DMK members exited the house. This behavior demonstrates how much the DMK leaders despise your faith,” he stated.

“The DMK and Congress are hellbent on breaking the nation,” the Prime Minister stated adding that the BJP considers everyone to be a family member. He also expressed confidence that the people of the state turn to the BJP for progress.

This is hours after the state’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) published full front-page newspaper advertisements displaying pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister MK Stalin, DMK Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and other party leaders on Wednesday. PM Modi is in Tamil Nadu to lay the foundation stone of ISRO’s new spaceport for small satellite launches in Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district.

The advertisement by DMK Minister Thiru Anita Radhakrishnan was published in several Tamil newspapers on 28th February. However, in a shocking display of allegiance to China, the print advertisement used an image of a Chinese rocket, instead of the image of an IRSO rocket.

In the image, the top of the rocket could be seen painted in red with yellow stars, depicting the flag of China. The ad also depicted several other rockets in the background, but they were all foreign rockets. The promotion didn’t feature even one indigenous rocket to the shock of many.

Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai slammed the DMK government over the advertisement. He said that ever since the ISRO’s second launch pad in Kulasekarapatinam was announced, DMK has been “desperate to paste stickers”.

He tweeted, “The amount of desperation only proves their attempt to bury their past misdeeds, but we must remind them that DMK was why the Satish Dhawan Space Centre is today in Andhra Pradesh & not Tamil Nadu.”

During the event, the Prime Minister unveiled approximately 15 new projects. He said the initiatives represented the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’. “Today, Tamil Nadu is writing a new chapter of progress in Thoothukudi. Many projects are being inaugurated here. These projects are an important part of the roadmap for a developed India. One can also see the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ in these developments,” the Prime Minister said.

These initiatives may be in Thoothukudi, but they will also help to accelerate development in many other parts of India, he said. The Prime Minister launched several projects aiming at transforming the VO Chidambaranar Port into the country’s first green hydrogen hub. These projects include a desalination plant, hydrogen generation, and a bunkering facility. 

During the program, the Prime Minister also launched India’s first indigenous green hydrogen fuel cell inland waterway vehicle under the Harit Nauka initiative.
The vessel, built by Cochin Shipyard, is a pioneering move towards embracing clean energy solutions and aligning with the country’s net-zero ambitions.

During the program, the Prime Minister also dedicated tourist facilities in 75 lighthouses spread across 10 states and union territories.

PM Modi dedicated to the nation the Vanchi Maniyachchi-Nagercoil rail line, which includes the Vanchi Maniyachchi-Tirunelveli segment and the Melappalayam-Aralvaymoli part. The Prime Minister also dedicated to the country four road projects in Tamil Nadu, which cost approximately Rs 4,586 crore.

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