Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday urged voters in Tamil Nadu to elect more than 25 MPs from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha election as gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for installing a sengol in the new Parliament building.

The sengol, or sceptre, was installed by Modi in the Lok Sabha chamber of the new Parliament building on May 28. The central government had claimed - with dubious historical sources – that the sengol symbolised the transfer of power from the British government to India.

At a rally in Vellore, Shah expressed confidence that the Modi government would return to power with over 300 seats in the 2024 election. “I have come to request you to vote for the NDA and give over 25 MPs as a mark of thanking Modi for the sengol installed in the Parliament.”

Shah said that such a result would also mean that the NDA can have more ministers from the state. Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha seats.

In the 2019 election, the alliance led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam won 38 seats in the state, while the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an NDA constituent, won one seat.

At Sunday’s rally, the home minister also mentioned state Chief Minister MK Stalin’s challenge to the BJP to list the contributions of the Union government towards Tamil Nadu since 2014.

“The UPA [United Progressive Alliance] government gave Tamil Nadu Rs 95,000 crore in 10 years, while the Modi government has given Rs 2,47,000 crore to Tamil Nadu in nine years,” Shah said. “A total of Rs 58,000 crore was sanctioned in nine years for various national highways projects in the state.”

He also claimed that while there were widespread allegations of corruption against the Congress-led UPA government, no one has been able to make such allegations against the present Union government.

Also Read: Why a Tamil sceptre handed over by Mountbatten lies at the heart of Modi’s new Parliament