Paraphrasing popular Hindi song 'Jiska Koi Nahin Uska Toh Khuda Hai Yaaron' from Amitabh Bachchan starter Lawaris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first address to the Lok Sabha after his return to power said, "Jiska (poorer people) Koi Nahin Uske Liye Sirf Sarkar Hai". He was intending to convey a direct message to the underprivileged people of the country that with him at the helm, the Union government was meaningfully working as a welfare state.
While Modi spoke of the "spiritual satisfaction" he got as an individual over the kind of faith people had shown in these elections to his hard work, his reply to the motion of thanks to the President’s address on the commencement of the 17th Lok Sabha couldn’t be complete without responding to what newly nominated leader of Congress Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said a day ago.
Modi seemed anguished over the charge that he and his party intended to obliterate achievements and work done by past governments.
"Thus far and no further" was his firm statement that he consciously never referred to work done by previous governments. He pointed out that he, perhaps, was the only prime minister who had from the Red Fort twice complimented all previous governments at the Centre and in the states, but he was being targeted by the current leadership in the Congress because they only wanted to hear achievements of one particular family only. Modi referred to Jawaharlal Nehru’s 1951 speech where he dreamt of a situation where people talked about rights and duties in the same vein.
His argument was those who cared for only one family had no right to make such allegations against him. Incidentally, there was total silence in Congress benches when he said that even when Chowdhury listed a series of achievements of previous governments, he referred to only Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and challenged them to place on record to table of the House if any Congress leader ever talked about achievements of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government or PV Narasimha Rao government (when the Gandhi family stayed away from politics after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi) or even the Manmohan Singh government.
Modi distinguished his thought process from Congress' one family devotion thought process. In this context, Modi said how he had got a compilation of 50 governor’s addresses (mostly of Congress regime) when 50 years of the formation of Gujarat state was celebrated and also how his government chose to confer Bharat Ratna to former president Pranab Mukherjee who all his life had been a Congress leader.
Chowdhury’s remarks came in handy to him to target Congress. Responding to the Congress leader's remark on Monday asking why Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were not in jail if corrupt practices were committed on 2G and coal scam during the 10 years of UPA rule, Modi said it was for the judiciary to decide. It was not of the government to send or not send a person to jail. And then taking a direct dig at Sonia and Rahul, he said those who were out on bail should enjoy their freedom.
The prime minister also took a jibe on Chowdhury who had targeted Modi and the BJP by quoting Indira Gandhi that nobody could reduce someone else’s height, a person may lose weight due to several reasons but wouldn’t ever lose height howsoever hard the other person may try. In his characteristic style, Modi said he was not into the game of reducing the height of someone else but was attempting to draw a long line of his own.
"You have attained such height that you have lost touch with realities on the ground, people on the ground appear dwarf to you. I wish you attain even greater height and continue to lose touch with realities on the ground," he said.
Modi was giving his concluding address on 25 June, the date when former prime minister Indira Gandhi had imposed Emergency in India. The prime minister said that those who were cheering and raising slogans against the Modi govt on Monday should tell what they did on 25 June 1975.
Updated Date: Jun 26, 2019 10:22:27 IST