Chennai | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tributes to the 40 CRPF martyrs who lost their lives in the dastardly Pulwama attack and said that the Centre's main is to make the defence sector 'Atmanirbhar'.

Launching several key projects in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, PM Modi handed the indigenously designed main battle tank Arjun Mark 1 to the Army and said that the southern state is "evolving as the tank manufacturing hub of India".

"One of the two defence corridors is in Tamil Nadu. The corridor has already received an investment commitment of Rs 8,100 crore. Today, I'm proud to dedicate to the country, one more warrior to protect our frontiers," PM Modi said.

"They've time and again shown they're fully capable of protecting our motherland and India's belief in peace. They've also shown that India will protect its sovereignty at all costs," he said.

Amid protests over the new farm laws, the Prime Minister also praised farmers of the state for "record food grain production and good use of water resources".

PM Modi also lauded Union Budget 2021 and said that it will significantly change the lives of poor and weaker sections of the society.

"In the budget, there are provisions to ensure extra credit mechanism for fishermen. Infrastructure related to fishing is being upgraded. Modern fishing harbours will come up in 5 centres, including Chennai," PM Modi said.

"This year's budget has once again showcased the reform commitment of the govt. Special importance has been given to develop India's coastal areas," he added.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi inaugurated the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension and laid the foundation stone for several others in different sectors, including railways, in poll-bound Tamil Nadu.

He also laid the foundation stone for the Discovery Campus of IIT Madras, which will be built at nearby Thaiyur at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore in the first phase over an area of 2 lakh sqm and the extension, renovation and modernisation of the Grand Anicut Canal System.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021 will be held in April and May this year. Ahead of the polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has allied with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma