It requires a good deal of homework, oratorical flair and presence of mind to make two different speeches with differing contents in two Houses of Parliament within the space of an hour when the subject remained the same. Modi through his concluding remarks on Motion of thanks to President’s address in both Houses of Parliament displayed his mastery over that art.
His long speeches provided enough talking points for political leaders of different hues to pick up multiple issues to set the right momentum for 2019 Lok Sabha election. His speech in Lok Sabha lasted over 90 minutes while in Rajya Sabha it went on for more than an hour.
Modi used the occasion to deliver his message on five broad points.
First, the prime minister chose to go ballistic against the Congress on an array of subjects. While in Rajya Sabha, he reminded the opposition benches that Mahatma Gandhi wanted a Congress-mukht Bharat in post-Independent India, in Lok Sabha he drew parallels between the dynasty rule of the (Nehru-Gandhi) family and democratic principles of the Congress seeking to convey the message that the people of India are no longer charmed by dynastic politics.
Second, the prime minister sought to mitigate the angst of the BJP's southern ally Telugu Desam Party on the allocation of funds to Andhra Pradesh as compensation for bifurcation of Telangana.
Third, Modi catered to the concerns of his party's social constituency -- the middle class, OBCs, farmers and Dalits.
Fourth, he went at length on the developmental schemes initiated by his government in the last three and half years and compared them to those launched by his predecessor Manmohan Singh during his 10 years in office as the prime minister between 2004-14.
Fifth, Modi exploited the opportunity to counter his political rivals and critics.
Chhote man se koi bada nahi hota, tute man se koi khada nahi hota. The prime minister referred to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poetic lines to target the Congress and argued why it was futile for the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress to dream of returning to power in near future.
The former prime minister, the first from BJP’s ranks, came in for reference right in the beginning of Modi’s speech. During the Vajpayee era, the three states of Jharkhand, Uttrakhand and Chhattisgarh were carved out of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. But the creation, transfer of power and allocation of resources to the parent state and the newly created states were such that the whole process was smoothly concluded. In contrast to that Congress' Manmohan Singh government created Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh in haste, when the house was not in order and on election eve. It is because of Congress’s divisive character that nation is still suffering after 70 years of Independence, Modi said.
Even as he charged Congress he assuaged feelings of ally TDP. He recalled how NT Rama Rao founded TDP in 1980, at a time when there was all round anger over the way Rajiv Gandhi had treated the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, T Anjaiah.
Modi also quoted LK Advani in Rajya Sabha to prove a point against Congress on Aadhaar.
The ferocity with which Modi delivered his political punch against the Congress in his concluding remarks on the presidential address debate, the lawmakers of the stunned main opposition party badly protested against the contents of the prime minister's speech even after he left both the Houses. In Lok Sabha, the Congress made a strategic mistake of letting its members create a ruckus in the House and go on shouting slogans but Modi outsmarted them by speaking in the din. “Ye awaz dabane ki itni koshish nakam rahne wali hai. Sunane ki takat rakho” (this effort to silence my voice is going to be a futile exercise. Have the courage to listen to me).
Modi referred to the speeches of Congres leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge to launch a full-throttled attack on the main opposition party and its first family. Two days ago Azad had basked in glory, at least among his supporters, for saying that he does not want "New India" but wanted the return of "Old India" and that the various schemes of the Modi government were "no game changers" but only "name changers" (of schemes initiated by UPA government), Modi responded by saying unlike the UPA regime, the NDA government is "aim chaser" focused on last mile delivery.
Azad's wish to return to good old India came in for sharp sarcasm from Modi. "Which old India do you want, India of Jeep, Bofors, Submarine and such other scams, old India of Emergency days, old India when the then prime minister said after a big tree falls earth shakes leading to killing of thousands of innocent Sikhs, old India of Tandoor case or old India where Warren Anderson was allowed to flee country after the Bhopal gas tragedy, old India where everyone was forced to sing songs for one family?"
In Lok Sabha, Modi took on Kharge for saying that Nehru and Congress gave India democracy. Modi's contention was that India existed long before it became Independent and Nehru became prime minister.
Modi said that an overwhelming number of Congress Working Committee members wanted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to become the prime minister but Jawaharlal Nehru was selected over him to lead the country.
"What kind of democracy was that?" the prime minister asked.
It seems Congress forgot to check its own history before the party unleashed a tirade on the Modi government.
Published Date: Feb 07, 2018 21:14 PM | Updated Date: Feb 08, 2018 07:58 AM