PM Modi defends NPR, CAA, hits out at Opposition

PM Modi, repeatedly took on Mr Choudhury, who was constantly interjecting his speech with protestations.

New Delhi: With the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation having spread to the whole country with Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protests being the fulcrum of dissent against the law, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose the floor of Parliam-ent to pour scorn on the so called “tukde gang” associated with the opposition, whom he blamed for provoking the protests against a notified law.

In his almost 100-minute speech in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister repeatedly took digs and made cryptic comments against Mr Rahul Gandhi and the leader of the Congress in the lower house Adhir Ranjan Choudhury.

The comments, often sarcastic and even tauntingly personal, left the treasury benches constantly in splits, as he compared Mr Gandhi to a ‘tubelight’, saying that it took the Congress leader around half-an-hour to react to his speech, when the former got up to question Mr Modi on unemployment.

Mr Modi, who was replying to the motion of thanks on the President’s address first in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday afternoon and then later in the Rajya Sabha in the evening, said that for him every citizen was an Indian and not somebody belonging to a particular religion or community, adding that Muslims were being misled by those who speak the language of Pakistan. He chose to emphasise that CAA was not against any minority community and no citizen of the country would be endangered by the law.

He ridiculed the Congress and attacked it for imposing the Emergency, partitioning the country in 1947 and instigating the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Mr Modi said that it was due to these misdeeds of the Congress that the people had shown it the door and it has failed to perform its duty as a responsible opposition.

Without naming Rahul Gandhi, Mr Modi in his reply referred to the Congress leader’s comments he had reportedly made about “youth beating Modi with sticks over the lack of jobs,” and said he would increase the number of Surya Namaskars (a yoga exercise) so that his back can bear the sticks.

“In 70 years, no Congress leader has ever become self- sufficient. I heard one leader’s manifesto yesterday. He said ‘We will beat Modi with a stick in six months.’ I can imagine that it is a difficult prospect, so it will take six months to prepare. In these six months, I will do more surya namaskar so that my back is ready for the beating. I have been subjected to abuses in the past 20 years, I will make myself gaali-proof (abuse-proof) and also danda-proof (stick- proof),” Mr Modi said.

Mr Modi, repeatedly took on Mr Choudhury, who was constantly interjecting his speech with protestations.
The Prime Minister said that the Congress leader was openly publicising the government’s ‘Fit India’ campaign in Parliament.

Responding to Mr Chowdhury on the issue unemployment, Mr Modi said he will resolve unemployment in the country but not his and of his party’s.

“Aapki berozgari nahin hatne denge,” he quipped.

When the opposition sought to question him on the government’s achievements in the agriculture sector, he said that he had learnt from farmers.

Farmers, he said, toil hard in the fields under scorching heat but sow the seeds when the time is right. Similarly, he added, I have created the space in your (opposition’s) minds and gradually I will start sowing the seeds in them.

Responding to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s criticism of the government’s measures regarding Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Modi suggested that Mr Tharoor should have some soft corner for Kashmir, after all he was “son-in-law” of the region, referring to his late wife Sunanda Pushkar, who was a Kashmiri.

Mr Modi warned that street protests and arson against decisions of Parliament and state assemblies and people’s refusal to accept laws will lead to anarchy, as he accused the Congress and other opposition parties of inciting protests against the CAA and the NPR.

Stoutly defending the CAA and the updation of the NPR, Mr Modi told Parliament there is an attempt to cover undemocratic activity under the garb of protests and that no one is going to get political benefit.

As soon as Mr Modi arrived in Lok Sabha, the Congress MPs countered the BJP lawmakers’ ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chants with ‘Gandhiji Amar Rahein,’ in an apparent reference to the controversial remarks made by BJP MP Ananthkumar Hegde against Mahatma Gandhi.

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