Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, 13 March, arrived in Tamil Nadu where he formally launched the party's poll campaign ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a rally in the Nagercoil area of the state, Gandhi attacked BJP and the rulling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADM) and said 'the government in Tamil Nadu is controlled by Prime Minister's Office.'
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi feels he can capture any Indian institution and control any state by blackmail,' he added.
Also present at the rally, DMK President M K Stalin extended support to Congress and said that the Congress chief will assume the top office within a few weeks.
Stalin declared that the upcoming Lok Sabha election was a 'war to dislodge Prime Minister Narenda Modi' and asserted the UPA would repeat its 2004 success by winning all 40 seats.
'Within a few weeks, Rahul Gandhi will become the prime minister. In his (Gandhi's) hands, the country will be safe we believe,' he said.
Stalin had proposed Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition alliance at a function in Chennai in December last year where Karunanidhi's statue was unveiled.
The DMK leader also said he had made the pitch for Gandhi as PM following the footsteps of his father late M Karunanidhi who had fully supported the Congress chief's grandmother Indira Gandhi's return as prime minister in 1980.
'Power is going to come to you soon, it will be for the poor, it should be for the common man and we are fully confident, we are supporting you because you are Rahul Gandhi and not Narendra Modi,' Stalin said.
Hours before his rally, Gandhi in a press conference in Chennai reiterated that the BJP government had released JeM chief Masood Azhar and asked what the Narendra Modi regime had done to protect the 40 CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack.
'The BJP needs to explain why they sent that criminal (Azhar) back to Pakistan...why was Azhar released... National Security advisor is involved in his release,' Gandhi said, attacking the BJP.