Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the Congress, saying for the opposition party the defence sector was only about brokering deals.
Modi's comments came after party president Rahul Gandhi recently upped the ante on the Rafale row by quoting a media report saying the Prime Minister's Office conducted 'parallel' negotiations on the deal.
"From the seas to the skies, the Congress has several scams associated with the defence and in the process the party did not allow the modernisation of defence forces for long years that they were in power," Modi said.
Addressing a party rally at Perumanallur about 13 km from in Tirupur, he said the National Democratic Alliance's work culture was different from that of the previous governments.
Targeting the Congress, he said 'those who had got opportunity to rule the nation for years did not bother about India's defence sector. For them this sector was only about brokering deals and helping their own set of friends'.
"The NDA's approach to national security is different," he said and outlined that it was the dream of his government that India be self-sufficient in defence production and where 'our forces have all possible support they require in keeping our nation safe'.
He referred to the 'pathbreaking' step of creating two defence corridors one of which is in Tamil Nadu.
He said a defence corridor will bring industry and investment options and opportunities for the State's youth.
On the opposition attack on him, the prime minister said their 'political culture of abusing Modi may give them some space in television but the elections are fought on ones vision for the nation, not slander and attack'.
The good work of the National Democratic Alliance government has made some people very unhappy and their unhappiness has turned into desperation and abuse for Modi, he said.
Remembering Congress stalwart and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the late K Kamaraj, he said the 'great' leader always wanted a government in power which has zero tolerance towards corruption.
"You have placed a government in Delhi who is putting a lock on corruption," Modi said.
He recalled the NDA government had brought a legislation for providing 10 per cent reservation for the poor in the general category and this was done without altering the existing reservation system in the country.
On the PM Kisan Yojana scheme, he said it was a yearly benefit and will ensure Rs.7.5 lakh crore goes to the bank accounts of the farmers in 10 years.
For the first time in India's history, a government has spoken about doubling of farmer's income rather than giving them loan waivers as promised by Opposition as a part of their 'election propaganda'.
"Our goal is to improve ease of living for all Indians," he said referring to foundation stone laying for several projects including those related to ESIC hospitals.
This also included new aviation infrastructure at Chennai and Tiruchirappalli and crude oil pipline from Chennai Port to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited's Manali refinery.
Modi began his speech in Tamil by saying 'Vanakkam', and added that he bowed to the 'land of Tirupur', which is known for its bravery. Modi referred to freedom fighters including Tirupur Kumaran for their sacrifices.
He said Namo merchandise like T-shirts were made in Tirupur and praised the region's enterprising spirit. He also lauded a Jain guru for his peace initiatives.
Speaking on the occasion, Tamil Nadu unit Bharatiya Janata Party president Tamilisai Soundararajan hit out at the main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and lauded the Prime Minister for his welfare initiatives.
Even as Modi arrived at the venue of the meeting, slogans like 'Vendum Modi', (we want Modi), rent the air.
Farmers representatives presented him a silver coconut for announcing the maximum support price for copra.
Modi's Sunday rally here was the second such BJP event in less than a month in Tamil Nadu.
On January 27, he addressed a grand party rally at Madurai after laying a foundation stone for the AIIMS hospital there.
Modi had in the recent past held a slew of video conferences based interactions with party workers of Tamil Nadu.
In an apparent reference to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday taunted him as a 'recounting minister' of the United Progressive Alliance regime, describing him as 'arrogant'.
Citing his government's step of offering tax exemption for those with incomes up to Rs 5 lakh, he told the public rally that it was a reflection of genuine concern for the middle class, unlike the previous UPA regime.
After referring to this step , Modi said he wanted to recall the state of affairs during the UPA regime.
"There was a very wise Minister from Tamil Nadu," he said and told the audience, 'you know whom I am talking about'.
When the people responded loudly, he said,'right, the recounting minister', without directly naming the former Union finance minister.
Chidambaram, now a Rajya Sabha MP, won the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu by a slender margin of 3,354 votes after a see-saw battle.
Confusion had prevailed then as election officials delayed the declaration of the result due to a dispute in the counting of votes in respect of the final round.
Chidambaram, then home minister, was declared elected later after the votes were tallied again vis-a-vis the final round.
Modi had made the same 'recounting minister' remark during his 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.
Continuing his attack on Chidambaram, Modi said described him as 'the man who thinks all the knowledge in the world resides only in his brain.
'In his typical arrogance, he says why is the middle class so worried about price rise when they buy such expensive ice cream and mineral water.
'Mr recounting minister, the middle class does not need the taunt by you and Congress. They have rejected you and will continue to do so.'
Chidambaram, highly critical of the Modi government, had days ago targeted it on the row over the 'National Sample Survey Organisation's data on high unemployment', (as per the report of a business daily) and related developments.
Taking forward his attack against the Congress, Modi said the good work of the NDA government has made some people very unhappy.
"Those who thought power was their divine right, those who thought only they are bound to rule are disturbed. Because here is a government that is working. Their unhappiness has turned into desperation and abuse," the prime minister said.
Taking potshots at the opposition for blaming him at the drop of a hat, he said their answer for any question posed to them targeted him.
Be it 'agriculture or MSME', the answer will invariably be 'Modi, Modi, Modi'.
He said it was the NDA government which took the initiative to shut fake companies,remove fake beneficiaries and ensure that middlemen no more roamed the corridors of power.
Without naming anyone, he said that only in the services or products like mobile recharge or ice creams, was the idea of a 'family pack' seen. But now it applied for bail too.
"Those who thought they could never be questioned, who lorded over the nation are now having to give an account for the loot. This is what a change in India today."
Mocking at the grand opposition against his party,he said 'our friends in the opposition are very funny'.
Though the opposition called his government a failure and claimed it did nothing for the people and that he would be badly defeated, 'still they have to form a big alliance to defeat Modi'.
However, 'what is the agenda of the so called alliance, what are the issues they fight for, nobody knows. Because their guns are only aimed at me. This is 'maha milavat, or adulteration'.
He asked if the people of Tamil Nadu and the rest of the country would ever accept an adulterated product? "Never," he said.
The people of Tamil Nadu and the entire nation are seeing through this game, Modi said.
The 'maha milvat' or 'adulterated alliance' is a club of rich people trying to promote their dynasties. They neither understand poverty nor have a vision to serve the poor, he said.
"The opposition is good at one thing and that is to spread panic. Time and again they have tried to mislead farmers, workers and youngsters."
While the opposition talked of a 'poorly thought out loan waiver' only during election, his government took the step of announcing Rs 6,000 assistance annually to farmers to support them, he said.
'Honest trust me, the corrupt have a problem'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the honest trusted him and the corrupt had a problem as he ensured the benefits meant for the poor reached them directly.
Modi said those who had worked as middlemen in areas, including deals concerning national security for illegal gratification were facing the music now.
"This Pradhan sevak (himself), this chowkidar (ensures) that the benefits meant for poor are going directly to their accounts. That is why the honest have trust on Modi while the corrupt have a problem," he said at a public rally in Hubbali, Karnataka.
In an apparent reference to Robert Vadra and former Union Minister P Chiadmbaram's son Karti appearing before probe agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, he indicated this could have hardly happened earlier.
"You are seeing in Delhi what is happening.. those whose incomes people dared to talk about earlier, are now appearing before courts (and) agencies," he said.
"Such persons were giving details of their domestic and foreign benami properties".
He said Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy was being used as a 'punching bag' due to coalition pulls in that state.