Prime Minister Narendra Modi took jibes galore at the Congress, paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, and said that the country should not lose the opportunity to move ahead, in an hour-long speech in the Lok Sabha. The prime minister made these statements as part of his reply to the Motion Of Thanks on the president's address.
Modi, in the initial part of his address, said that President Ram Nath Kovind had spoken on the people's aspirations, and remarked, "We should all move forward together. We can overcome every obstacle together."
Outlining the Modi government's vision in its second term, Kovind on 20 June in his customary address to the joint sitting of the Parliament, said the building of a "strong, safe, prosperous and all-inclusive India" is inspired by the basic spirit of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas' (With all, development for all and with everyone's trust)."
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Modi said, "I think beyond winning and losing elections. I strive for the welfare of the people of the country. For me, what is satisfying is the opportunity to serve 130 crore Indians and do work that has made a positive difference in the lives of our citizens."
Modi recalls Emergency to castigate Congress
Several of the prime minister's potshots aimed at the Congress made reference to the 44th anniversary of the Emergency. Modi termed it "a blot on the democracy that will never fade".
"Today is 25 June. Who imposed the Emergency? Who trampled over the spirit of the Constitution, gagged the media and bullied the judiciary? We can't forget those dark days," he asserted.
Later, responding to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remark over charges against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the alleged 2G scam, Modi said, "We are being criticised because we didn't put some people in jail. This is not Emergency that the government will put people in jail. It's a democracy, the law will deal with it."
The prime minister said the Congress never recognised efforts of anyone except the members from the Gandhi-Nehru family. He said the Congress never spoke about the good work of former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and PV Narasimha Rao.
"In this Lok Sabha debate, the same people did not even speak of Manmohanji," Modi added.
"There are some people who feel only a few names contributed to the national progress. They only want to hear those few names and ignore the others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for India's progress," he said.
'Voters showed they cared for nation'
Modi said the NDA was given a chance to rule in 2014 as the people thought it was a way of escaping from the UPA regime.
"We have to move together to fulfil the dream of a strong, safe, developed and inclusive nation," he said.
Calling on the Opposition to come together to help the nation move forward, Modi asserted that the dream of ruling BJP-led NDA government is not to reach heights but to stay connected to grassroots.
"India should not lose the opportunity to move forward together to fulfil the dream of a strong, prosperous and inclusive nation," he said.
Praising the voters for giving the BJP a strong mandate and electing a "stable government", Modi said, "After a long time, the country has given such a strong mandate. This showed how aware our voters are. The voters showed that they cared for the nation. The people of India have elected a stable government. This Lok Sabha election has shown that more than themselves, the people of India are thinking about the betterment of the country. This spirit is commendable."
PM stresses on Make in India, water conservation
The prime minister also called for a collective endeavour to make India $5 trillion economy. He said, "Some people have made a lot of fun of Make in India, but isn't it true that this needs to happen?"
Speaking on water conservation, Modi said, "Water conservation is everybody's responsibility. Our government created a Jal Shakti ministry in view of the situation. I urge all, including NGOs, to spread awareness about steps needed for water conservation."
On the triple talaq bill, the prime minister said, "The Congress missed opportunities with uniform civil code and the Shah Bano case. Now again, there is an opportunity, and we have brought a bill for women's empowerment. Please do not link it to religion."
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jun 25, 2019 19:49:32 IST