The Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on September 17 by presenting gold rings to the newborns and distributing 720 kilograms of fish, among other plans.
“We have identified the government RSRM hospital in Chennai and decided that all children born on the Prime Minister’s birthday will be given a gold ring,” minister of state in-charge of fisheries and information and broadcasting, L Murugan said on Thursday.
Replying to a query about the cost of the initiative, he said, “It will be about 2-gm gold per ring which is about ₹5000.’’
The party’s local unit has estimated about 10-15 deliveries at the particular hospital on that day. “This is not a freebie. We are just celebrating our Prime Minister’s birthday by welcoming babies born on that day,’’ he said.
According to a three-page letter sent out by the party’s national president Arun Singh on August 30, all the states have been asked to mark the occasion as ‘Sewa Pakhwada’, similar to programmes organised in previous years. Under it, the activities involve blood donation and medical check up camps among others. The party leadership had strictly asked for no cakes to be cut or havans to be organised.
But the southern state seems to have come up with unique plans.
“We have chosen chief minister MK Stalin’s constituency to give away 720kg fish. The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojna (PMMSY) scheme encourages fish consumption and so, we are distributing it. Of course, we know that the PM is vegetarian,’’ said the fisheries minister. They arrived at the 720 figure as Modi is turning 72 this year.
The PM’s birthday will also be marked as a coastal clean-up day.
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