| New Delhi |
Published: February 8, 2018 1:30 am
Replying to the debate on the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of criticising India when attacking his government, and asked whether the party still wanted the “Old India” marked by Emergency, scams and massacre of Sikhs.
“The President in his speech had spoken about New India. Swami Vivekananda had also spoken about New India… Mahatma Gandhi also used to speak about young India… I don’t know what is the problem,” said Modi, who then gestured towards the Congress benches. “We [Congress] don’t want new India. We want the old India. We want Gandhi’s Bharat,” he went on.
“I too want Gandhi’s Bharat,” he said. “Because Gandhi had said… we have got freedom, there is no need for the Congress now. Congress should be disbanded. Congress-mukt Bharat is not Modi’s thought. It was Gandhi’s thought. We are trying to follow the path shown by him… If you want that India.. kya sena ka jeep ghotale wala Bharat, the submarine-scam India, the Bofors-scam India, helicopter-scam India. You don’t want New India. You want that India. You want Emergency wala India…which had converted the country into a jail,” he said.
“You want that India where JP, Morarji Desai and lakhs were jailed… you want that India where democratic rights of the people were snatched… Newspapers were shut down.. you want that India. Which India do you want? You want that India in which after a big tree falls… thousands of innocent Sikhs are murdered… You don’t want New India. You want that India in which the tandoor case happened… in which those accused of the death of thousands of people are sent abroad on a plane… You also went to Davos, I too went to Davos but you sent somebody with somebody’s letter… you want that India,” Modi said in his 70-minute speech.
“You should criticise the BJP… do it strongly. It is your right. You should criticise Modi also. Baal noch lena chahiye. You have every right to do that in a democracy,” he said. “But while criticising BJP… you forget and start criticising India. You slip. Aap Modi par hamla bolte bolte, Hindustan par hamla bol lete hain jaake… In politics you have the right. Par iske kaaran maryada laang lete hain aur usse desh ka bohot nuksaan hota hain.”
He said the Congress will never be able to accept that people like him are occupying such a position. “We can understand your pain. But don’t do anything which harms the country,” he added.
Congress MPs interrupted the speech many times. Trinamool MPs walked out midway, saying “It was only bhashan, no action.”
Modi attacked the Congress for demanding that the triple talaq bill be sent to a select committee, and accused it of mocking the clean-India mission, Make in India, Jan Dhan Yojana, International Yoga Day, action against black money and raising questions on surgical strikes. “But tell me, can anybody have any opposition to giving constitutional status to the OBC Commission… You may have had some compulsions… you didn’t do it. But now we have brought the bill… but it is stalled now… The OBC community is fighting for their rights… but your politics does not allow you to openly say and that is why you are making excuses… Leave your politics… Instead of demanding that this be added and that be added… help us pass the bill,” he said.
“Triple talaq… The issue had come before you 30 years ago… You could have any law that you wanted… But your politics… One of your ministers said in the House that why should there be… but when the demand arose from all sides and you sensed danger to your vote bank… the minister and the mission had to go suddenly,” Modi said.
“… Somebody has murdered someone… he is the only son of the family… he is only 30 … has old parents… why make a law that will sent him to jail? How will the old parents survive?… Hindu do shaadi karen, wo jail chala jaye, uskeliye saja ho… tab aapko vichar nahin aaya ki uske pariwar ke log kya khayenge,” Modi said, and added that whoever studies this will be surprised at such an argument being given.
Modi also urged the MPs to have a “constructive discussion” on holding of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and assemblies.
On Bofors, Modi quoted late Congress leader and former President R Venkataraman, who he said in his biography referred to a conversation with J R D Tata. Quoting from the book, Modi said, “Tata said he felt that after 1980 the Congress party did not ask for political contributions from industrialists as the party’s expenses were being met from commissions from such deals,” Modi said quoting Venkataraman.
He also took a dig at the Congress by lauding its leader Jairam Ramesh for saying the “sultanate has gone, but we behave like sultans”. “I appreciate Jairam Ramesh for his frankness.”