Lotus will bloom as Oppn throws more dirt: Modi

Update: 2023-02-09 19:17 GMT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address in the Rajya Sabha during Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Thursday. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: Taking on the Opposition camp, in particular the Congress, whose members have been demanding a discussion on Hindenburg report on Adani issue, leading to disruptions and adjournments of both Houses of Parliament since day one of the Budget Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused them of not keeping India’s interests in mind.

In his reply to the Rajya Sabha debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, Mr Modi blamed the previous regimes for promoting vote-bank and appeasement politics for their political interests.

The PM said his government practices "true secularism" as it does not discriminate between any region, religion or sect when it comes to his  government's schemes. He described the 10 years of UPA rule as a "lost decade."

Taking on the Opposition camp, which has been criticising the BJP-led government over issues like unemployment, rise in communalism, economic policies, inflation, crony capitalism among others, Mr Modi said the more they throw "keechad" (dirt) of allegations, the more the lotus will bloom.
Amid sloganeering by the members of the Opposition parties throughout his speech, Mr Modi asserted that the nation is watching how "ek akela kitno par bhaari pad raha hai (one outweighs all)".

In an apparent reference to the decision made by some state governments ruled by Opposition parties on populist schemes, including the resumption of the Old Pension Scheme, Mr Modi cautioned them not to lead the country down the wrong path, citing the "economic health" of neighbouring countries (read Pakistan, Sri Lanka). He warned them "not to commit a sin for which your children will have to suffer".  

In a more than hour-long speech in the Upper House of Parliament, Mr Modi talked about his government’s focus on tribals, farmers, women and youth. He chastised the Opposition for failing to recognise their contribution to the country's development, accusing them of failing to distinguish between a job and employment as he listed initiatives by his government in various sectors that created employment opportunities.

Mr Modi also hit back at the Opposition, whose members had accused the ruling BJP of trying to destabilise the Opposition-ruled governments, as he contended that those occupying the Opposition benches in the House had tarred federalism by misusing Article 356 (President’s Rule) 90 times during their regime.
As he accused the Congress regime of misusing Article 356 to trouble regional parties by dismissing elected governments on 90 occasions, the PM asked, "Which party misused Article 356 90 times... One PM misused it 50 times… Who was that PM… It was Indira Gandhi." The PM was responding to allegations of disturbing the Opposition parties governments

Mr Modi, who began his speech amid "Modi Adani bhai bhai" sloganeering by the Congress, TMC, and other Opposition parties, took a jab at them, saying that some people's behaviour and language are disappointing not only for the House, but for the country.

"Keechad unke paas tha mere paas gulal, jo bhi jiske paas tha usne diya uchhal... the more you throw keechad, the more Lotus will bloom," said the PM.

"Mallikarjun Kharge said (yesterday) that Congress built a strong foundation in 60 years... When I looked at it minutely in 2014, I saw the Congress family had only built potholes. When they were digging these potholes, small countries were busy with their development goals... They did not bother to come up with a permanent solution to any of the problems the country was facing. Their priorities were different," said the PM.

The PM also took on the Leader of the Opposition and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, whose speech on Wednesday led to a war of words between the Treasury and Opposition benches in the PM's presence.

"I can understand the pain of someone whose account has been closed (lost an election) after many years," said the PM after informing the House that the poll-going state of Karnataka has almost 2-crore Jandhan accounts and Kalburgi has 8 lakhs of these accounts. Mr Kharge, who had faced his first electoral loss in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, had questioned the PM’s frequent visits to Karnataka and Kalburgi.         

Asserting that his government has chosen the path of hard work, Mr Modi said his government's commitment is that the government schemes reach to 100 per cent beneficiaries irrespective of region, religion or sect, which is true secularism and his government's motto of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is the perfect mean of social justice.

"The nation has been rejecting the Congress but the party and its allies have failed to learn anything and are continuing with their acts... but people are watching," said the PM as he looked towards the members of the opposition parties who were sloganeering, demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Hindenburg report on the Adani issue.

"This country is not anyone's fiefdom. Our policies reflect national and regional aspirations… But these people who are now sitting (with Congress), I want to expose them today," said the PM.

Attacking the Congress, the PM said the party named as many as 600 schemes after the Nehru-Gandhi family and questioned why members of the Nehru family shy away from using his surname.

In a dig at the Congress and its "Garibi Hatao" slogan, Mr Modi said that simply expressing something does not matter if the intention to do it is not strong, while asserting that his government will never let down the aspirations of people who have placed their trust in his government because of its hard work and commitment.

"We did not leave people to their fate… I chose a path of hard work and the country is witnessing the results," said the PM.


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