Congress on Thursday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of failing to provide a healing touch to the nation facing crisis in several fields by “not rising above petty politics”.
Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma found Modi’s reference to Nikita Khruschev a “very ominous sign”, insisting that right to oppose is a Constitutional right.
“The Prime Minister’s reply was sad and disappointing. He did not respond to any of the issues raised by Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi,” he told reporters.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s reply in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of thanks to the President address, Sharma lamented that Modi did not speak a single word on the “failures” of government in several fields and how it planned to face the challenges.
“True to his characteristic style, he created a smokescreen of boastful claims and made fun of his political opponents,” he said.
Sharma said that the Prime Minister failed to speak on the crisis facing the economy, falling exports, his stopover in Pakistan, black money, JNU row and Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
Taking a dig at Modi for recalling the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, he said it was good that he remembered the late prime ministers while talking of disruptions in Parliament.
Besides, he said Modi’s recalling Nehru showed he has “started reading a bit” and if he read more about the first Prime Minister of India, he would know more about Indian nationalism and the idea of India and would never be so bitter.
Taking a jibe at Modi, he said, “He is telling others to become mature. I hope that after one reads Gandhi and Nehru more, he gains the ideological and political maturity to govern a complex, diverse and beautiful country that is the Republic of India.”
“But he conveniently forgot to tell the House that the BJP had been responsible for disrupting Parliament for 500 out of 900 hours during the UPA tenure.”
Turning to the Khruschev story narrated by the Prime Minister, Sharma said Modi got the story wrong as in actuality, the person who asked question to the Russian leader had never stood up, making Khruschev remark that is the answer why he did not speak during the Stalin era.
He, however, said the Khruschev story narrated by the PM is a “very ominous sign” and “highly objectionable” as right to oppose is a constitutional right.
Sharma said the government’s “mindset” could be gauged from the fact that leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury were being slapped cases under sedition charges.