Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday slammed the Congress in his motion of thanks address, claiming the country suffered due to Congress' policies as it only spent time singing paeans to one family while ignoring the people's welfare.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha to the motion of thanks on the president's address, Modi also criticised the Opposition party over bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, alleging that it did so only for "political" considerations without any preparation for which the people were facing hardships. "When we speak about creating new states, we remember the manner in which Atal Bihari Vajpayee created Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. He showed how far sighted decision-making is done," the prime minister said amidst protests by Congress members who shouted slogans for Andhra Pradesh.
He also said that when the army was engaged in standoff at Doka La, Congress leaders preferred to meet Chinese officials.
Modi's speech came only a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed the government over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal and raised raised doubts about the "secrecy" surrounding the negotiations and cost of the France-made fighter jet. Gandhi took to Twitter to mock the Centre, saying it was attempting to deflect questions related to public spending by dubbing it a state secret
'Country suffered due to poison sowed by you'
Modi said whenever his government was criticised by select Opposition parties, substance was lacking in their arguments as they would go back to saying "when we were in power". "This is the same party that divided India. For decades, one party devoted all their energies in singing paeans to one family. The interests of the nation were over-looked just for the interests of one family," he said.
Modi said the Partition was result of the Congress' policies. "Not a single day has passed when the country has not suffered due to the poison sowed by you," he said. Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the first prime minister, a part of Kashmir would not have been under control of Pakistan, he added.
Questioning the Congress' commitment to democracy, Modi asked, "How did the Congress act in Kerala, how did they treat the Akali Dal in Punjab, how did they behave in Tamil Nadu? Why did Congress dismiss so many state governments at their will? This is no commitment to democracy."
Taking the UPA to task over non-performing assets (NPA), Modi said, "I want to tell people. What is this NPA issue? They should know that it is UPA which is responsible for the NPAs. They made such laws which created pressure on banks to give loans to cronies in India. These cronies used to restructure debts but banks never got any money back. If I had to play politics, then I would have done it on the first day itself. But that would have created a crisis in India. So, I was silent for the sake of the country. This NPA is your deeds."
Addressing the criticism around the Budget, he said, "There are rumours and disinformation about BJP being against the middle class. They are aspirational class. They want best quality education, quality of life, housing and other facilities. This is my government's endeavour. We have given various tax benefits to the middle class."
He also addressed the Opposition's statements regarding the government. "The more you spill dirt over us, the more BJP will strengthen. I urge the Opposition to continue to do so. I don't mind," said Modi.
"You doubt that farmer incomes will increase by 2022 because you never thought of such a scheme. Such ideas cannot happen with a small and parochial mind," Narendra Modi said while answering Opposition's criticism over farmer issues.
The prime minister said Opposition had the right to protest but not disrupt. This statement came even as Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told protesting members from Andhra Pradesh, "When you go home, you will not be even able to teach discipline to your children." For the second straight day, ruling NDA ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress continued with their protest demanding various facilities and funds for Andhra Pradesh. Around 15 members from both parties trooped into the Well, displaying placards and shouting slogans during the Question Hour.
Modi ended his speech asking everyone to work together to create a new India. "Let us work together to fulfill the dreams of the people," said Modi while hailing the presence of ASEAN leaders during Republic Day.
The motion of thanks to the President's Address passed in the Lok Sabha by a voice vote and all amendments by Opposition were negated.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 15:01 PM