Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that Tamil Nadu should show the way to the country in keeping away the forces projecting “one culture, one nation and one history” concept, reported PTI. Gandhi was referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Addressing the huge crowd in Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for April 6, the Congress leader alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, insult Tamil language and culture. He said that they should not be allowed to gain a foothold in the state.

“Modi talks about one culture, one nation, one history and one leader,” Gandhi said. “Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Bengali not an Indian language? Is Tamil culture not Indian culture? This is the battle that is being fought in this election.”

He said that it was his duty to protect the Tamil language, its culture and history just like all the other languages and religions in India.

History has shown that nobody can rule Tamil Nadu other than the Tamil people, he said. “This election will show the same thing that only a person who truly represents the Tamil people can be a chief minister of Tamil Nadu,” the Congress leader added.

Gandhi also hit out at the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government in the state, alleging that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami does not represent the state and acts on the directions of the Centre, reported ANI.

“CM [Palaniswami] doesn’t represent the state, he represents what PM Modi wants him to do,” he alleged. “A person who bows before only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t represent Tamil Nadu.”

The Congress leader also recalled former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kumaraswami Kamaraj for his leadership. He said that when it came to implementing the mid-day meal in the state, Kamaraj did not care about the opinion of the economists that it would be a bad idea but only listened to the people and brought in the scheme.

He said the Congress wants a government in Tamil Nadu that looks after the interests of farmers, small businesses and labourers.

Gandhi also attended an event at St Joseph’s Matric Higher Secondary School in Mulagumoodu town panchayat and laid a wreath at the memorial of former MP Vasantha Kumar.