A day after Rahul Gandhi spoke strong words against PM Modi and his government in his speech in Parliament, the Prime Minister launched a scathing attack on the Congress in the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister mocked the Congress party on various issues by quoting chunks of speech from Congress stalwarts Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The PM made the speech while replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address.
He slammed the Congress for disrupting the Parliament and stalling bills. He also said the Congress suffered an inferiority complex” of its top leaders and that’s why they believed in disrupting the proceedings of the Parliament. He invoked statements made by former Prime Minsiters of the Gandhi family to sharpen the attack.
He used wit and barbs as he responded to the attack by Congress over various initiatives of his government, including ‘Make in India’ and MNREGA.
Without naming Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister responded to the comments he made on Wednesday in a veiled manner.
“It is easy to preach others…There are some people to whom all kinds of questions are asked. But there are some others, to whom nobody dares to ask questions,” Modi said.
“I have been questioned, I have faced criticism and accusations over last 14 years. I have learnt to live with it,” he said, apparently referring to the attacks on him in the aftermath of Gujarat riots of 2002.
While hitting out at Rahul for criticising his government, he sarcastically recalled how at a press conference, the Congress Vice President had torn an Ordinance which was approved by then cabinet members Manmohan Singh, A K Antony, Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah.
He also took on Rahul for mocking at the government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, questioning whether such a scheme should be made fun of. “You are mocking ‘Make in India’? If it is not successful, you should suggest what should be done to make it successful,” he said.
Sharpening his attack, the PM hinted that the top Congress leadership was not allowing “young” and “bright” leaders to emerge as they fear that they may overshadow Rahul.
“In the opposition there are bright and talented youngsters who don’t get a chance to speak…They lot lot of study…The concern is that if they speak, they will be praised. Then what will happen to us,” Modi said.
In his 75-minute speech, Modi did not respond to the specific issues raised by Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders, like his visit to Pakistan, black money, JNU and Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
But PM Modi also reached out to the Opposition and said that his government needs their support for “improvement”.
“This government also needs improvement which cannot happen without your help. I am new, you are experienced. I need the benefit of your experience. Governments will come and go. Let us work shoulder to shoulder,”Modi said.
He also deplored the blame game by political parties for “scoring points” and said the the bureaucracy rejoices it and nation suffers.
He said a democratic country like India cannot be left at the mercy of the bureaucracy as he sought to underline the importance of the Legislature, saying even a single MP of any party should be treated like “Prime Minister”.
(With inputs from PTI)