In Rajya Sabha, Narendra Modi likens Congress to death and concludes speech with Nida Fazli's poem

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday equated the Congress party with "mrityu" (death) but hastened to add that like death is never subjected to criticism, the Congress party also has gone unscathed.

"Death is a's above one criticises death. People say someone died of cancer, (people say) he died of old age...The cancer and old age is blamed but not the death," Modi said, replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the President's address to Parliament.

"Sometimes I feel Congress is also blessed (like death)...whenever we criticise Congress, media says opposition is under attack," Modi said, adding, however, when the ruling establishment criticises parties like Janata Dal-United or Bahujan Samajwadi Party, the media says "JD-U is under attack or BSP is under attack".

Earlier, the Prime Minister appreciated the cooperation of members in the present session and said unlike previous sessions, the proceedings were going on smoothly during the ongoing budget session. This was due to the positive influence of the President's address as he had urged all members to allow smooth conduct of Parliament, Modi added.

In Rajya Sabha, Narendra Modi likens Congress to death and concludes speech with Nida Fazlis poem

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Image courtesy: ANI/Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invoked Congress stalwart Indira Gandhi's name yet again and made a veiled attack on the Congress for "trying to take credit for all projects and initiatives of my government".

"There are two kinds of people -- those who work and others who take credit for it," Modi said in Rajya Sabha while replying to the debate on President Pranab Mukherjee's address to a joint sitting of Parliament. The Prime Minister evoked former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and while taunting Congress said that she said that 'there is less competition in the first category of those who work.'

During his reply to the motion of thanks on the president's address in the Lok Sabha on March 3, Modi had quoted from speeches of Indira Gandhi as well as Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi.

Referring to skill development and clean Ganga initiatives launched by his government, the prime minister said skill development was an important facet of governance and social development was continuing in India as an old tradition. Every government has contributed its part in that endeavour, he added.

Similarly, he said, the Congress would raise its voice on the Ganga cleanliness drive taken up with renewed vigour by his government. "I know such a voice will be raised from your end," he told the opposition members.

"But the issue is not the initiative only... I know Rajiv Gandhi had started the clean Ganga project... if you have started it, why then is Ganga not clean these days," he said.

Even on skill development, he directed his attack against the Congress and said that while there was no lack of knowledge about the importance of skill development, nothing substantial had been achieved.

Several skill development projects were launched, named and renamed, he said.

In reciting Urdu poet Nida Fazli's famous ghazal "safar main dhoop to hogi..." in the packed Rajya Sabha, Modi made known his difficult situation due to key bills stalled in parliament and asked the opposition to "change" its behaviour. It was an unusually soft-toned poetic Modi mixing his political predicament vis-a-vis paucity of numbers in the Rajya Sabha with literature, making a passionate appeal to the opposition to allow the government secure passage of crucial economic bills, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The government doesn't have the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha where the opposition is in majority. Consequently, various key reform legislations, including the GST bill, stand stalled. "Safar main dhoop to hogi, jo chal sako to chalo," he said, invoking the famous Urdu poet and asking the opposition to walk along with him in his difficult journey under the scorching sun.

There was thunderous applause from his colleagues in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies with opposition leaders, including his predecessor Manmohan Singh, smiling, when Modi asked the oppositon to change its disruptive tactics.

"Kissi ke waaste raahein kahan badalti hain; tum apne aap ko khud hi badal sako to chalo" (Paths don't change their course for anybody; if you can change yourself, please do"), he implored quoting the poet.

And then Modi asked the opposition to walk along on his path towards development: "Sabhi hain bheed main; tum bhi nikal sako to chalo." He said the culture of Indian political conduct was such that no one makes way for anyone and added that he doesn't mind being criticised if that helps the opposition to tread a corrective path.

"Yahan kisi ko koi raasta nahin deta; mujhe girakay agar tum sambhal sako to chalo." And his voice diminished in the loud beating of the desks, when he dealt a final literary blow. "Yahi hai zindagi, kuchh khwab, kuchh chand ummeedain; Inhi khilonon se tum bhi bahal sako to chalo."

"This is all that life is about -- a few dreams, a few wishes, and if you want to amuse yourself with these toys, please do."

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Mar 09, 2016 17:38:43 IST

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