New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress of not performing for the majority of years of Indian independence during which the oldest party ran successive governments in the country.
Modi was replying to the motion of thanks on President Ram Nath Kovind’s address in the Lok Sabha. He thanked the MPs for adding vigour to the debate, sharing insightful points.
Modi tears into Congress
The prime minister today coined new full forms of BC and AD. He said BC stood for ‘Before Congress’ while AD stood for ‘After Dynasty’, using the much-in-currency acronyms for Before Christ and Anno Domini as an easy vehicle to communicate to the masses the difference in governance during Congress rule and after it.
Taking on the opposition’s charge that this BJP-led NDA government has been destroying institutions, the prime minister said the Congress had blamed the Army and tarnished its honour during the 1962 war against China when the Jawaharlal Nehru regime had failed to support the Indian Army.
Modi reminded Parliament that the Congress’s Indira Gandhi as the prime minister of her era had imposed Article 356 on 50 occasions to dismiss elected governments of different States.
He recalled Indira again, without naming her for imposing Emergency on the country. One may recall the then prime minister had, in the fear of losing power following the adverse judgment on her by the Allahabad High Court, declared Emergency on 25 June 1975.
Without naming Rajiv Gandhi, Modi said the Congress had referred to the Planning Commission as a “bunch of jokers” but had the gall to accuse the BJP government of destroying institutions.
“They questioned the sanctity of the Election Commission. You talk about institutions, what did Congress do to NTR (NT Rama Rao) and MGR (MG Ramachandran)?” asked Modi.
Explaining why the Congress is peeved with his rule, the prime minister said, “Do you know what is my crime? That a person born to a poor family is challenging their Sultanate.” Modi added, “Refer to your (Congress’s) manifestos of 2004, 2009 and 2014. In all the manifestos, you have promised that, within three years, every house will have electricity. I am amazed at this,” wondering why his government’s feat of 100% electrification did not make the Congress happy.
To make the point that the Congress regimes were known for corruption, Modi invoked the controversial Commonwealth Games of 2010. ““When the Commonwealth Games were held, it was an opportunity for us to highlight the glory of our nation. But these people were focussed on increasing their own wealth,” he said.
In Boria Majumdar’s book Sellotape Legacy, it was alleged that the said games was alleged to cost the exchequer Rs 70,000 crore. The Comptroller & Auditor General had noted, auditing the expenses, that the amount was well beyond the budgeted sum — spent mostly on avoidable accounts.
Reiterating his allegation that loans from public sector banks used to be decided and disbursed without actual accounting in the Congress era, the prime minister said, “UPA’s ‘phone banking’ system did wonders for their friends and leaders. Due to such favouritism, our banking system witnessed many problems.”
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s charge that the India-France government-to-government contract for Rafale fighter planes was a scam, the prime minister said, “Every deal negotiated under the Congress regime had the presence of middlemen.”
Speaking on the surgical strike following the attack on Uri by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists, Modi said, “”I am levelling a serious allegation here. You want this Rafale deal to be cancelled, on whose behest? For which company? In our neighbourhood, everyone is building war capabilities, why didn’t we do it in all these years? This is criminal negligence.”
A Congress Rajya Sabha MP was recently found by the US investigators to be involved in a titanium mining scam where the metal was being sent to Boeing, a competitor of Dassault Aviation that makes the Rafale jets.
“There were days (under the Congress),” Modi said, “when even bulletproof jackets were not available for the Army.”
Mahagathbandhan = Mahamilavat
Targeting the opposition’s attempts at forming the so-called mahagathbandhan, Modi said, “People have seen the work a government with an absolute majority can do. They have seen our work. They do not want a mahamilavat (super-adulteration) government of those who recently gathered in Kolkata.”
On the issue of criticism of demonetisation by the entire opposition, the prime minister reminded the country that the exercise had forced 3,00,00,000 fraudulent companies to shut shop.
Listing ‘feats’ of Modi sarkar
The opening remarks set the tone of his government by saying “a government that works for the people of India, sensitive to people’s aspiration, honest, transparent, against corruption and for fast pace of development.”
The prime minister said that India had seen remarkable progress in the last four years. From foreign direct investment to steel sector, start-ups, milk and agriculture, aviation, India’s progress has been outstanding. “We have become the second largest steel producer, second largest mobile phone manufacturer, 4th largest automobile manufacturer in the world. We are a nation with have a bumper harvest production.” he added.
Stating the highlights of his government, he said one can easily see what his government has achieved over the past in 55 months is way ahead of what has been achieved in the last 55 years.
“Sanitation coverage has crossed 98% ,over 10 crore toilets have been built for our people. In 55 years, 12 crore gas connection were given. In last 55 months, 13 crore gas connections were given and 6 crore were Ujjwala. The speed of the work done and for whom the work was done, you decide for yourself.” he said.
Fight against corruption
Talking tough on corruption, The prime minister said his government is working tirelessly to bring the corrupt people to book.
On Benami Law, he said it was his government that implemented Benami Law and now people are getting caught for having the benami properties.
Speaking on Rafale, The prime minister Modi said Defence Minister had answered to all the allegations in detail and the controversy was being created by those who think no defence deal can be done without kickbacks.
About NPA, The prime minister said previous governments left behind a legacy and those who fled the country are today crying on Twitter. “They are saying that I had taken Rs 7,800 crore but the government has attached properties worth Rs 13,000 crore”. he added.
The prime minister said that about 20,000 NGOs have shut their operations after the government sought details of their funding. He said these numbers might increase in the future.
Explaining how the NDA government has been working hard to ensure ease of living for all, he said the price rise has been checked as compared to the previous governments.
Expressing his commitment towards a healthy India, The prime minister said the prices of medicines and medical and surgical equipment have been brought down.
On the employment front, The prime minister said maximum job growth has been in the transport sector. In the past four years, more than 6 lakh new professionals have joined the workforce and they have added to more number of jobs for the people.
Modi talked about how more than 1.80 crore people have been enrolled under Employees Provident Fund over between September 2017 to November 2018 , over a span of just 15 months , out of which 64% are below 28 years age.
The prime minister told the Lok Sabha that more than 1.20 crore people have been registered under National Pension System or NPS.
How friendship with Israel need not disturb Palestine
Stating that India’s foreign policy has brought India to the fore in the global arena, The prime minister said people hear what India has to say. He added that before Paris agreement was finalised, top world leaders used to talk to India. The prime minister also made it clear that India will be friends with both Israel and Palestine as well as with both Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Lauding the role of generation next in charting the progress of India, he said “Those born in the 21st century are now going to be voters and thus, they will play a role in shaping India’s progress.”
The prime minister summed it up saying that his government will always fulfil the aspirations of the people of India.