[Read: Modi meets Rajnikanth]
Raising the political temperature in the run up to the April 24 elections, Jayalalithaa, who has hitherto avoided criticism of the BJP, launched a sharp attack on the party at a rally in Karur in the Cauvery belt, saying it was no different from the Congress on the emotive issue.
Jayalalithaa, straining every nerve to win all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu to realise her ambition of playing a pivotal role in the next government, asked the electorate to ensure that the candidates of the DMK, the Congress and the BJP forfeit their deposit in all seats for their "betrayal" of the state on the vexed river water dispute with Karnataka.
Jaya said BJP betrayed in Cauvery issue, Modi said she never cared for welfare
"With an eye on Lok Sabha seats in the elections, BJP has not even mentioned the issue in its 2014 poll manifesto," Jayalalithaa, perceived to be a natural ally of NDA post the elections, said.
Losing no time, Modi hit back at Jayalalithaa saying her AIADMK and arch-rival DMK were never concerned about the welfare of the people but only focused on finishing off each other politically.
Modi, addressing his first rally in the state after the BJP stitched a six-party alliance including DMDK and MDMK, also raised the emotive issue of recurring attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan navy and vowed to protect them if the NDA was voted to power.
Earlier, the BJP prime ministerial candidate met film superstar Rajinikanth, who showered praises on Modi describing him as a "strong leader and able administrator".
However, the actor, who has a large fan following, made clear that their meeting had no political significance, setting at rest speculations that he might throw his weight behind the BJP.