Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 5, used his reply during the motion of thanks on the President’s address to launch one of the strongest attacks on Congress as he also hit out at I.N.D.I Alliance over its “disturbed alignment” while expressing confidence that people will give BJP a renewed mandate of over 370 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls on the basis of the work done for all sections of society.
In his speech, the Prime Minister took repeated swipes at Congress, slammed India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru over some decisions relating to Jammu & Kashmir and targeted Rahul Gandhi without naming him, saying “in a bid to relaunch the same product, the Congress party’s shop is on the verge of being shut down”.
While the Government highlighted its achievements in the President’s speech to the two Houses of Parliament, PM Modi made a political speech in his reply to the debate, stating that many opposition leaders were thinking of changing seats or coming to Parliament through Rajya Sabha.
The Prime Minister said opposition strength will be depleted after the Lok Sabha polls expected to be held in April-May this year.
“People are like God and the way you (opposition) are making efforts, I am convinced that people will bless you and you will move up to the public gallery. I really commend the resolution of the opposition. From every word of their speech, I and the country are now convinced that they have resolved to sit for a long time in the opposition. The way you sat here (in government) for many decades, the same way you resolve to sit there (in opposition),” he said.
“As per your wish, India’s voters will bless you to reach newer heights and soon you will be in the viewing gallery. It seems like you have even lost the will to fight elections,” PM Modi added.
He accused Congress of slow speed of work and said Congress would have taken 100 years to complete some tasks his government did in 10 years.
“No one can match the slow pace of the grand old party…We built 4 crore houses for the poor. For the urban poor, we built 80 lakh pucca houses. Had these been built at the speed of Congress…it would have taken 100 years to do this work. Five generations would have passed by then.”
Referring to the upcoming assembly polls, PM Modi said the “third term of our Government is not very far now”.
“Only 100-125 days remain to go…I don’t go into numbers but I can see the mood of the country. It will make the NDA cross 400 and BJP will definitely get 370 seats…The third term will be about taking very big decisions,” he said.
#WATCH | PM Narendra Modi says, "The third term of our government is not very far now. Only 100-125 days remain to go…I don't go into numbers but I can see the mood of the country. It will make the NDA cross 400 and BJP will definitely get 370 seats…The third term will be… pic.twitter.com/qSuMk8uRXz
— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2024
PM Modi’s mentioning of 370 seats is his reference to the BJP-led government at the Centre scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution early in its second term in office. BJP leaders have been talked about it in election rallies.
The Prime Minister also brushed aside opposition allegations of misuse of probe agencies by the government, saying that they were independent and will continue to do their work. He said the “corrupt” will have to return the money they have looted.
About sixty speakers took part in the debate on the motion of thanks on the President’ address in Lok Sabha.The Budget Session commenced on January 31 and will conclude on February 9.
PM Modi said that the Opposition parties failed to fulfil their responsibility properly. “They (Opposition) failed to fulfil their responsibility as opposition…I have always said that the country needs a good opposition,” he said. “I see that many of you (Opposition) have even lost the courage to contest elections. Some seats were changed last time too, I have heard that many people are looking to change their seats this time as well. I have also heard that many people now want to go to Rajya Sabha instead of Lok Sabha. They are looking for their paths by assessing the situation,” he added.
#WATCH | PM Narendra Modi says, "I see that many of you (Opposition) have even lost the courage to contest elections. Some seats were changed last time too, I have heard that many people are looking to change their seats this time as well. I have also heard that many people now… pic.twitter.com/M6IDnozP3j
— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2024
The Prime Minister referred to ‘sengol’ at the start of his speech.
“When the President came to this new Parliament building to address all of us and the pride and honour with which Sengol led the entire procession – we were walking behind it. When we become a witness to the reflection of that holy moment of India’s independence in this new tradition in the new Parliament building, the honour of democracy rises.”
#WATCH | As an Opposition MP raised the issue of there not being anything for minorities in President's Address, PM Narendra Modi says, "Maybe fishermen are not from the minority in your place, maybe animal herders are not from the minority in your place, maybe farmers are not… pic.twitter.com/3j46LE7ZRA
— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2024
PM Modi said India will be the third-largest economy in the third term of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government. He took a swipe at Congress, citing the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who presented the Interim Budget for 2014-15, saying that the the party was proud of being the 11th largest economy in 2014.
“India was the 11th largest economy in 2014. Today, India is the 5th largest economy, and yet they (Congress) are silent… They saw a vision that India will be the third largest in 30 years. We will not allow the nation to wait for so long. It is Modi’s guarantee that in our third term, India will be the third largest economic power…”.
Taking a dig at Congress, he said the party had an opportunity to emerge as a good opposition but failed to do so.
Without taking any names, he also alleged that young leaders were not promoted in the party so that they do not overshadow Rahul Gandhi.
“In Congress, there are many talented people but the party did not let them stand. I always wished that the country needed a good Opposition. We can see the situation of Adhir Babu. The situation is that (Mallikarjun) Kharge has shifted from this House to that House (Rajya Sabha), and Ghulam Nabi Azad has shifted out of the party. They all became the victims of ‘parivarwad’.”
“Ek hi product baar-baar launch karne ke chakkar mein, Congress ki dukaan mein tala lagne ki naubat aa gayi hai,” he said.
He alleged that Congress is trapped within a family and said there is a need to come out of ‘parivarwad’, while explaining how children of a family being in politics is different from a family controlling the party.
“It (Congress) is unable to see the aspirations and achievements of crores of families of the country, it is not ready to see it,” he added. Referring to Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, who were present in the House, PM Modi said they don’t have their own parties.
He accused the Congress of opposing all development schemes, “Congress is trapped in ‘cancel culture’, it seeks to cancel every achievement and success of country…we say Make in India, Congress says cancel; we say Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Congress says cancel; we say Vocal For Local, Congress says cancel, we say Vande Bharat train, Congress says cancel; we say new Parliament building, Congress says cancel. I am surprised because these are not Modi’s achievements, these are the achievements of the country,” PM Modi said. He said Congress has never trusted the capabilities of the countrymen. “The country has suffered through the mindset of the Congress party, which has never trusted the capability of the countrymen. It considered itself rulers and the public as lesser and inferior,” PM Modi said.
He read out a statement of the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru, “…It means that Nehru ji thought that Indians are lazy and less intelligent.” He also read out a statement of former PM later Indira Gandhi; says “…Looking at the people in Congress today, it seems that Indira ji could not assess the people of the country correctly but assessed Congress absolutely correctly…”.
PM Modi referred to steps for empowerment of women including Nari Shakti Adhiniyam. “From Space to the Olympics, there is an echo of the power of women’s empowerment. People have seen the projects that were pending for years being completed,” he said.
“I had announced from the Red Fort that I want to see the country at the pinnacle of prosperity for the next 1000 years. The third term will be the term to lay the foundation for the next 1000 years. I am filled with great faith in the Indians and the country. I have immense confidence in the 140 crore citizens of the country,” the Prime Minister added.
Listing achievements of his government, PM Modi said 25 crore people have come out of poverty in 10 years. “If the poor get resources and self-respect, they have the power to defeat poverty. With this thinking, we gave resources and self-respect to the poor. Today 50 crore poor people have bank accounts. Four crore poor have permanent houses. 11 crores are getting pure water from the tap. More than 55 crore poor people have got an ‘Ayushman Bharat’ card. 80 crore people have been provided with the facility of free grains.”
Calling himself ‘sbse bada OBC’ (the biggest OBC) in Parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of indulging in hypocrisy and adopting double standards while dealing with leaders of Backward communities.
#WATCH | "Can’t you (Congress) see the biggest OBC here?…." asks PM Modi to Congress.
"Congress party and UPA govt did not do justice with OBCs. A few days ago, Karpoori Thakur ji was conferred with Bharat Ratna. In 1970, when he became Bihar CM, what not was done to… pic.twitter.com/AqMemfzLNw
— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2024
He alleged that the Congress disrespected Karpoori Thakur, who dedicated his entire life to the principles of democracy and the values of the Constitution.
“Congress party and UPA government did not deliver justice with OBCs. A few days ago, Karpoori Thakur ji was conferred with Bharat Ratna. In 1970, when he became Bihar CM, what was not done to destabilise his government? Congress can’t tolerate OBCs…They keep counting how many OBCs are there in government. Can’t you (Congress) see the biggest OBC here (pointing towards himself)?” PM Modi said.
“During the UPA Government, an extra-constitutional body was formed. The Government could not have its way before that body. National Advisory Council – did it have any OBC members? Find out,” he added.The Prime Minister further said that history has witnessed that whenever Congress comes to power it brings inflation.”Two songs on inflation were superhits in our country – ‘Mehngai Mar Gayi’ and ‘Mehngai Dayain Khaye Jaat Hai’. Both of these songs came during Congress’ governance. Inflation was in double digits during UPA’s tenure, it can’t be denied. What was their Government’s logic? Insensitivity. They said – you can have expensive ice creams but why do you cry about inflation?… Whenever Congress came to power, it strengthened inflation,” he added.
PM Modi also replied to the opposition’s attack on the government on the issue of unemployment.
#WATCH | PM Narendra Modi says, "Two songs on inflation were superhits in our country – 'Mehngai Mar Gayi' and 'Mehngai Dayain Khaye Jaat Hai'. Both of these songs came during Congress' governance. Inflation was in double digits during UPA's tenure, it can't be denied. What was… pic.twitter.com/kTWjzIYZBi
— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2024
“Startups, digital creators, unicorns, gig economy – these are the new vocabulary of the new Bharat. Today, India is a leading digital economy. Ten years before 2014, the budget for infrastructure was around Rs 12 lakh crore only. In the last 10 years, the budget was Rs 44 lakh crore in infrastructure. You can imagine the number of jobs it must have created in the country,” he said.
The House adopted the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address. The motion was adopted by a voice vote.
(with inputs from ANI)