Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's long rule is needed to save the dignity and self-respect of the people of Tamil Nadu and Tamils elsewhere, BJP president Amit Shah said Saturday.
Addressing a public rally at Maraimalai Nagar near here, Shah in a "heart-to-heart" talk with the people, said: "In order to safe guard the dignity and self respect of the Tamil Nadu people, Modi's rule at the centre should be there for a long time."
He listed out seven states - Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam - where the Bharatiya Janata Party should be strengthened so it can rule for a long time at the centre.
Addressing the rally in Hindi, Shah, at the outset, apologised for his inability to speak Tamil. He said he is learning the language and would soon speak to the people in it.
The party's national secretary H.Raja translated Shah's speech.
Thanking the people of Tamil Nadu for electing two National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates to the Lok Sabha in the general elections, Shah said after 30 years, a single party has got the majority mandate at the centre.
Responding to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's poser as to what the BJP government has done in the last six months, he wondered as to what a Congress government did for the nation in the last 60 years.
Shah said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in which DMK was part, indulged in various scams to the tune of Rs.12 lakh crore and unemployment was rampant during the UPA rule.
He noted that 40 percent of the population did not have a bank account, while the Jan Dhan Yojana of the Modi government has led to eight crore new bank accounts being opened.
There will not be any scam charge against the BJP government when it goes to the polls five years later, he promised the people.
After BJP came to power, price rise has been controlled and 'Make in India' programme is being implemented to provide jobs to the youth, Shah said.
He got a resounding yes from the crowd to questions like whether the people would want 24 hours power supply; end family rule; jobs for the youth and Tamils to live with dignity and respect.
Shah then said that if these have to happen then BJP should be strengthened in the state by mobilising new members in Tamil Nadu.
Shah was earlier given a warm welcome by the state BJP leaders on his first visit here after becoming the BJP president.
He was received by national general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao, union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, national secretary Raja, state unit president Tamizhisai Soundararajan, and others.
According to BJP leaders, Shah's visit is to strengthen the party in the state ahead of the 2016 assembly elections.
He will interact with state party leaders Sunday.
Meanwhile Tamil movie music director Gangai Amaran joined the party.