Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party will not let the people of Tamil Nadu be ruled by Nagpur, where the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has its headquarters. He was criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, at a rally in the state’s Krishnagiri district.

Tamil Nadu will vote in the second phase of the General Elections on April 18.

Gandhi also made a strong pitch for his alliance partner MK Stalin to be the next chief minister of the state. Tamil Nadu will vote for a new Assembly in 2021.

The Congress, the DMK, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi and the Indian Union Muslim League have formed an alliance to fight the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Ten seats have been allocated to Congress and 10 seats to other partners. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will contest from the remaining 20 seats.

“Our alliance is the alliance of the people of Tamil Nadu. Both parties believe in freedom, justice and freedom of speech,” Gandhi said. “We will never ever allow the people of Tamil Nadu to be ruled by people from Nagpur. Tamil Nadu is going to be ruled from Tamil Nadu. Stalin is going to be chief minister of Tamil Nadu.”


Gandhi added that his party will give 33% reservation to women in central government jobs and in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha if it comes to power.

He also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran the government for 15 of his friends, and named Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi. He also asked why people such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi were not in jail, though they had defaulted on bank loans. “No farmer is going to be put in jail for not paying back his bank loan” if his party comes to power, Gandhi promised. “It is not fair that the richest people do not go to jail but farmers go to jail for the same offence.”