In Lok Sabha, Modi targets Congress’ past and present

Rajat Kain

President Narendra Modi replying to the debate on President's address to the Parliament, February 07, 2017.

President Narendra Modi replying to the debate on President’s address to the Parliament, February 07, 2017.

Speaking in Lok Sabha, replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took attack at the Opposition listing his government’s achievements and the steps taken especially for the poor and farmers.

He especially took on the Congress party for its stand of opposing government on issues, which he termed as people-centric.

Referring to the earthquake in north India last night, Modi took a jibe saying, “Main soch raha tha ki bhukamp aaya kyon? Jab koi scam mein bhi sewa ka bhaav dekhta hai, namrata ka bhaav dekhta hai tab maa nahin dharti maa bhi bhavuk ho jhaati hai aur tab bhukamp aata hai…

Stating that the intention of this government is to work for the development and progress of the country, the Prime Minister raised array of issues ranging from flagship schemes like Swachh Bharat to Demonetisation.

“We have been saying from day one to have discussion on the demonetisation, but the Opposition was keen not have a debate,” he said.

Amid brief uproars from the Opposition, he went on to criticise the Congress party over the alleged irregularities in coal allocation, spectrum allocation among other during its tenure at the Centre.

“Why did you not notify the law on benami properties that was passed by Rajiv Gandhi government 26 years ago? Those days you ruled the country from Parliament to Panchayat?,” he said targeting the Congress party, adding, “You have to answer… you cannot get away.”

“I will keep on fighting for the poor… There is no shortage of natural resources in the country, yet it is struggling to reach its height,” the Prime Minister said amid brief uproars from the Congress MPs.

Strongly defending the demonetisation decision, he countered opposition’s allegations of causing ripples in the economy saying this was the right time as economy is well in place to absorb the short-term shock. We couldn’t have taken decision when the economy was slow, he said.

“There were some trouble for few days due to note ban but now things are back on track, as I had calculated…” Modi said claiming the situation is improving.

Attacking the previous Congress-led UPA government further, he listed how under the NDA government there is spike in development activities, especially in the government schemes like MNREGA, PM Gram Sadak Yojya, housing in JNNUREM, and rural housing and others.

“We are moving at a fast pace in a similar system… It requires will to do it,” Modi said.

Highlighting the UDAY Yojna, he also stressed on the increase in power generation and transmission infrastructure during his tenure.

Talking of the initiatives taken for the agriculture sector, he said that in the last two and a half years not a single Chief Minister has written to me complaining about the urea shortage, something which happened on recurrent basis in previous governments. He also counted PM Fasal Bima Yojna while listing steps taken for the farmers.

“Rice production has risen, sugarcane production has risen… you can now imagine how agriculture sector will grow further,” he said.

Referring to the issue of holding simultaneous elections, he said, “we all have to think about it. There may be some short-term losses for the political parties. Elections are expensive and having some or the other elections each year, gets demanding on the teachers and security personnel”.

“Let’s take forward this issue and discuss as it has been mentioned by the President as well in his address,” the Prime Minister said.

Speaking on the surgical strikes, he said it was a “big decision” and the Opposition parties cannot criticise it. “I know you are troubled with the surgical strikes…,” Modi said targeting the Opposition parties.