‘Are we fools?’: Congress says ‘no substance’ in PM Modi’s Rajya Sabha speech
Congress on Monday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Rajya Sabha, accusing him of ‘overlooking’ the party’s proposal on what lacks in the contentious three farm laws. Speaking to the media after PM Modi’s address in the Upper House, Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge wondered if ‘all of us are fools?’
“There was no substance in PM Modi’s speech in Rajya Sabha. He overlooked Congress’ proposal on what lacks in the three farm laws and rejected concerns of farmers, graduates and scientists saying nobody knows anything. Are we all fools?” Kharge was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
PM Modi’s comments on farm laws on Monday came during his response to the Motion of Thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address, in the Upper House. The speech had several jibes against Opposition parties, including the Congress, which have thrown their weight behind farmers protesting against the legislations on the outskirts of Delhi.
In his speech, the Prime Minister attacked his predecessor, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who was also present in the House, saying that those who are doing a 'U-Turn' on the farm laws will agree at least with Singh. “Manmohan ji is here, I’d read out his quote. Those taking a U-Turn on farm laws will perhaps agree with him,” he said.
“There are other rigidities because of the marketing regime set up in the 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get the highest rate of return. It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realising its vast potential at one large common market,” the Prime Minister quoted Singh as saying.
During his address, PM Modi also reiterated that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) ‘hai, tha aur rahega (it is there, it was there, it will be there).’ A legal assurance for MSP is one of the two major demands of the farmers, besides a total repeal of the laws.
The Prime Minister’s speech also featured an attack on people he referred to as ‘aandolan jeevis’ (professional agitators), who, he said, are seen at every agitation. "We have to identify them," he said.