National leaders and Union Cabinet ministers are making back-to-back trips to Tamil Nadu, which will see elections to its state legislative assembly in April. Not even the Prime Minister of the country has wasted an opportunity to make more than one visit to the poll-bound state. The PM is set to make his second visit on February 25,to attend a BJP public meeting in Coimbatore district.
Before this, Modi inaugurated key projects including Chennai when he visited the city on February 14. He inaugurated an extension of the Chennai Metro Rail Phase 1 and a Discovery Campus for IIT Madras in Chennai.
Home Minister Amit Shah who last visited Tamil Nadu on November 21, 2020, is slated to visit the state again on February 28. On his previous visit, Shah inaugurated infrastructure projects worth Rs 67,000 crore in the state. In his upcoming visit, he is expected to head to Villupuram to attend a meeting of the BJP in the district.
The second cabinet rank minister slated to visit Tamil Nadu is Nirmala Sitharaman. The Finance Minister was expected to make a trip to her hometown of Villupuram, and visit her Alma Mater Sacred Heart Convent where she studied from kindergarten to class 5, on February 13. However, a revised schedule of the FM states that she will visit Chennai on February 19, to hold meetings explaining the Union Budget to the leaders of Tamil Nadu. She is expected to visit multiple cities across India for post-budget explanatory meetings. However, her meeting in Tamil Nadu is important as the state is set to see a 3500 km stretch of national highway projects at a cost of Rs 1.03 lakh, as mentioned in the Union Budget. The highways project includes the Madurai – Kollam and the Chittoor – Thatchur corridors.
Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi will visit TN for the third time in two months on Feb 27. He is expected to visit from February 27 to March 1, covering Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Thenkasi and Kanyakumari districts, in a bid to reinvigorate the Congress party in TN ahead of the assembly elections.
Rahul Gandhi made his first visit on Pongal day (January 14) to watch the Jallikattu (bull taming) sport at Avaniapuram in Madurai district. His visit to Pongal to lend support to farmers protesting against the new farm laws across India.
His second trip was a three day tour of Tamil Nadu’s western districts from January 23- 25, where he visited Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts where he met with farmers, MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) representatives and addressed public meetings.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh too is slated to visit Tamil Nadu’s Salem on February 21. He had in 2019 cancelled his trip to Chennai to attend a university convocation ceremony after pro-Hindu outfits objected to the university conferring an honorary doctorate to Me Too accused Tamil lyricists Vairamuthu in the same event.