Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his government had decided to rename the Chennai Central railway station after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran. The 146-year-old iconic building is considered a major landmark in Chennai. Lakhs of passengers use the station every day.

Modi was in Kancheepuram district on Tuesday to launch several projects, The Times of India reported. He inaugurated five national highway projects in the state worth Rs 5,010 crore and laid the foundation stone for the Rs 5,150 crore terminal for import of Liquefied Natural Gas at Ennore. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal were also present at the rally in Kancheepuram district’s Kilambakkam.

He also launched the National Democratic Alliance’s campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha elections this summer. The Bharatiya Janata Party has formed an alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. MG Ramachandran, or MGR as he is known, is the founder of the AIADMK.

Speaking at the rally, Modi said MGR “worked extensively for the downtrodden” and his social welfare schemes “gave strength to the fight against poverty”.

“We have decided to rename the Chennai Central station after the great MGR,” he said. “The Central Government is making continuous efforts towards the development of Tamil Nadu. We are committed to creating a developed Tamil Nadu that Amma Jayalalithaa dreamt of.”

Modi also added that they were “seriously thinking about ensuring that flights to and from Tamil Nadu have in-flight announcements in Tamil language”.

The prime minister also claimed that his government has always “been at the forefront to help” any Tamil person who has faced a problem anywhere in India or the world, and mentioned the case of priest Alexis Prem Kumar. The Indian government had secured his release from Afghanistan in 2015, eight months after he was abducted by suspected Taliban militants on June 2, 2014 in Herat.

The prime minister criticised the Opposition once more and claimed that they were competing about who would abuse him the most. “Modi hatred among the Opposition is reaching new levels daily,” he said. “They will mock my poverty, mock my caste, mock my family. One Congress leader speaks of killing Modi... I am not bothered by their threats and abuses. I am here to work.” The Opposition was guided by selfish political interests and does not want a strong India, he added.

Hitting out at the Congress, Modi said the party insults strong regional leaders and claimed that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had dismissed 50 state governments, purportedly because she did not like them. “People elected MGR’s government, but it was dissolved by the Congress. Congress misused Article 356 again and again,” he said.

“The people of Tamil Nadu will never forget how one family insulted K Kamaraj,” he added. “What was Kamaraj ji’s crime? His crime was he spoke for the people and for democracy. He challenged the corrupt and dictator-like practices of one family.”

He also claimed that the NDA did not make decisions from “AC rooms in Delhi”, unlike the Congress. “People are our high command,” he said.