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Budget session highlights: PM Modi hits out at Congress, says party wants India of Emergency, of Bofors and chopper scams

PM Narendra Modi was replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the president’s address in the Rajya Sabha. Here are the highlights:

india Updated: Feb 07, 2018 20:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Budget session,PM Modi,live updates
PM Narendra Modi speaks in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.(Video screengrab)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi replied to the debate on the motion of thanks to the president’s address in both the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, saying that the term ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ was not coined by him but by Mahatma Gandhi who wanted the Congress party to be disbanded after Independence.

The Opposition too mounted a scathing attack on the Modi government, charging it with undermining democracy and painting a “rosy” picture when ground reality was totally different. Congress president Rahul Gandhi also alleged a scam in the Rafale aircraft deal that prompted the government to retort, saying the accusations were “unfounded”.

Parliament passed the motion of thanks to the president’s speech after Modi’s reply in both the houses.

Highlights:

7pm: PM made a personal remark, what else do you expect from him? I can’t fall to that level to reply to him. This is actually called denigrating the status of a woman: Renuka Chowdhury,Congress

Before this, Union minister Smriti Irani said: “I was present there. I heard the kind of indecent remarks she was making on PM Modi. Is it justified that she makes indecent remarks and when those remarks are met sarcastically, she makes her gender her shield?”

5:30pm: We were waiting for the PM to make some serious response to the points raised by the opposition, he said nothing. Only Bhashan, no action, no vision. So after 15 minutes, TMC staged a walkout from Rajya Sabha while the PM was speaking: Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress MP

5:20pm: Sorry to say that statement of PM that your government has taken a decision on One Rank One Pension is factually wrong. It was taken by UPA govt led by Manmohan Singh: Congress MP AK Antony

5:07pm: Narendra Modi’s address to Rajya Sabha ends.

5:05pm: PM Modi pitches for simultaneous elections, says there must be a comprehensive debate.

“Let us have a constructive discussion on holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections in the various states.”

5pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says in his reply the government is working to ensure that every Indian has a home

4:45pm: “One can debate whether Rajiv Gandhi or his family received kickbacks in Bofors scam but it’s undeniable that Congress got the commission from the deal,” PM says, claiming to quote from a book by former Congress leader and president R Venkataraman.

4:55pm: India’s middle class bears the brunt of inflation. We have contained inflation and maintained it at around 2-3% only: PM

4:52pm: The question of advertisement expenditure on Swachh Bharat was brought up. Cleanliness is a behavioural issue. The BJP government is trying to spread awareness about the issue: Modi

The Prime Minister apparently hits out at Congress, saying we can’t forget the full page advertisements in newspapers on the birthdays of the family’s leaders.

4:50pm: Modi says he believes women’s security isn’t a bipartisan issue, asks parties to unite for the issue.

4:45pm: “Who stopped you from creating a law on triple talaq?” Modi questions Congress.

“If you feel so strongly about bringing changes to Triple Talaq Bill, then you should have brought the law yourself, when you were in power for so many years: PM Modi in Rajya Sabha

Your (Congress) own minister once said triple talaq should go, but politics and vote bank came into play: Modi

4:43pm: Trinamool Congress members stage a walkout in Rajya Sabha during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply, saying it has not got answers to questions raised by it.

4:42pm: Look at all that you have mocked -- Swachh Bharat, Make in India, surgical strikes, Yoga Day. You are free to mock as you please but why are you blocking the bill for OBC Commission? Why are you blocking Triple Talaq Bill. Are you not sensitive to the aspirations of OBCs: PM to Congress

4:40pm: If we emphasise on tackling agricultural waste, we can increase the income of our farmers: PM Modi

4:30pm: Modi talks about Congress party bringing up the issue of recognition to Sardar Patel. “Why was there so much delay in conferring Bharat Ratna to Sardar Patel and Babasaheb Ambedkar,” the Prime Minister asks.

During the Gujarat campaign I was happy. I thought at least now the Congress has realised the greatness of Sardar Patel. Sadly, one week after the results, Sardar Patel was missing in Congress posters: PM

4:25pm: After all our country is of continuity. Governments come and go. I have gotten many projects cleared despite getting them from the previous governments: Modi speaks in Parliament

4:20pm: BJP leaders clap after PM Modi jokes about Renuka Chowdhury following the Congress leader’s laugh in Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asks Opposition to maintain silence in the house, says: “The entire country is watching us, we should not become a laughing stock.”

“Sabhapati Ji, I request you don’t say anything to Renuka ji. After Ramayan serial, we are now getting the opportunity to hear such a laugh,” Modi responds.

4:19pm: Congress can rightfully claim for stalling a lot of reforms for years. They got the Benami Bill passed 28 years ago but did not make rules and regulations to implement it to ‘benefit’ a few , says Modi in Rajya Sabha

4:18pm: Congress keeps saying we brought Aadhaar. Let me remind them about a debate in the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and what LK Advani Ji said. It is in his speech that you will find the genesis of Aadhaar: Modi

4:17pm: I was the one who said in the Independence Day speech that for the nation’s development, all the previous governments have made a contribution: PM Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha

4:16pm: You call us name changers... we are aim changers. We work hard and have ushered in a paradigm shift in the working of the government. Innovative projects are being thought about and completed in a time bound manner: PM

4:15pm: Congress wants the India of the Tandoor Case. I also went to Davos, you also went to Davos. But the difference is - you went with a letter to save someone: PM

4:10pm: Amid loud protests by Opposition, Modi says: “You don’t want new India. You want a Bharat in which the people bow in front of the government.” 

“You don’t need new India, but the India of Emergency, of Bofors and chopper scams.”

4:09pm: Even I want a Bharat of Gandhi. Even Gandhi said the world has changed, now there’s no need for Congress in India: Modi

4:08pm: I fail to understand why some people feel bad when India improves its ease of business rankings: PM

4:07pm: You have a role to play in democracy. But while criticising BJP, you end up criticising ‘Bharat’. You cross the line: Modi attacks, apparently referring to Opposition Congress.

“You can’t ever accept that people like us (BJP) can be sitting in Parliament.”

4:04pm: Let us work together in providing the poor quality and affordable healthcare: PM

4:02pm: On Congress’ attack against Ayushman Bharat Yojna, Modi says he is willing to listen if there are solutions.

“What I am sure we agree on is that there is a lot of work to be done in our health sector.”

“You were speaking about Ayushman Bharat and gave the example of US and Britain. There is a vast difference between them and our society, but of course, being in power for more than 50 years can cut you off from the ground”: PM Modi in Rajya Sabha  

4:01pm: Modi says he heard questions regarding his government's initiatives. He attacks the Congress party, saying no one hears outside, so they have to speak of the UPA era in Parliament.

4pm: PM Modi begins his address in Rajya Sabha.

2.22pm: It is time that Modiji realises it has been 4 years now. People were fed up because of Congress and that is why they chose you. People want to hear your schemes and not criticism of Congress: Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande reacts to the PM’s speech.

2.15pm: PM might be a terrific orator but this speech is a farrago of misrepresentations and half truth: Shashi Tharoor on Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha speech.

2.11pm: I think Modiji has forgotten that he is the PM now. He should answer questions and not always accuse the opposition: Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

2.05pm: He spoke for more than one hour but didn’t speak a word on Rafale deal, or on farmers or on employment for youth. It was a totally political speech : Rahul Gandhi on PM’s speech in Lok Sabha.

1.45pm: We have to create a new India. Let us work together to fulfil the dreams of the people: PM.

1.41pm: The nation’s army was fighting in Doklam but leaders of one party preferred to meet Chinese officials. The same party questions the army on surgical strikes: PM Modi.

1.38pm: “It’s hit-and-run politics. Keechad ucchalo aur bhaago... jitna keechad ucchaloge kamal (lotus) utna hi khilega,” says PM Modi.

1.33pm: I have to tell the entire nation about the NPA mess our previous Government created (Aakhir NPA ka maamla hai kya? Desh ko pata chalna chahiye ke iske peeche purani sarkar ka karobar hai, they are hundred percent responsible for it), says PM in Lok Sabha.

1.27pm: Those who have looted the country will have to pay back: PM Modi on corruption.

1.25pm: Middle class is being misled. We are working towards ease of life for them: PM Modi

1.20pm: India’s middle class desires good education facilities, affordable housing, good infrastructure. They want ‘Ease of Living’ which we are committed to providing: PM

1.12pm: When the corrupt and middlemen are out of work, obviously the Congress will be unhappy: PM Modi.

1.08pm: When our government took office in 2014, the chorus from the opposition was — Modi will scrap UIDAI but when we made Aadhaar more effective in terms of enabling better and effective service delivery, suddenly the opposition began opposing Aadhaar: PM

1.05pm: A government that talked about 21st century could not bring an aviation policy. Then what kind of a 21st century did they talk about, the one with bullock carts: PM in Lok Sabha

1.04pm: “Employment is increasing but you have closed your eyes as you are busy singing your songs.” Modi quotes former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Atal ji ne kaha hai ‘chhote Mann se koi bada nahi hota aur toote Mann se koi khada nahi hota’: PM

1.01pm: Irrespective of who heads the government, the aspirations of the brimming middle-class youth should always be the top priority: PM in Lok Sabha.

12.59pm: Previous governments have contributed to where the nation stands today. No Congress leader has ever said this. (Yeh Narendra Modi Lal Qila se kehta hai ki desh aaj jahan hai usmein peechli saari sarkaron ka yogdaan hai, aisa kisi Congress neta ne kabhi nahi kaha: PM Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.56pm: “NT Rama Rao was insulted (by Rajiv Gandhi) and that simmering anger led to formation of TDP,” says PM Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.50pm: After forming government in 2014 we prioritised northeast and worked for its development: PM Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.47pm: Since Khargeji spoke about railways and Karnataka, let me tell the truth about the Bidar-Kalburgi rail line. The project was approved by the Vajpayee Government and from 2004 till 2013 nothing was done. It is when a Government under BSYBJP gave approvals work could begin: PM.

12.46pm: Every Indian is paying the price of the poison infested by Congress: PM Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.45pm: In December, did we witness an ‘election’ or coronation for the post of Congress President? One youngster raised his voice about this as well: PM Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha.

12.41pm: If Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would have been the first PM of the country, entire Kashmir would have been ours: PM Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.40pm: Nobody in India needs lessons on democracy from the Congress Party: PM.

12.37pm: How did the Congress act in Kerala, how did they treat the Akali Dal in Punjab, how did they behave in Tamil Nadu? Why did Congress dismiss so many state governments at their will. This is no commitment to democracy: PM.

12.35pm: The Prime Minister continues criticising the Congress: “India did not get democracy due to Pandit Nehru, as Congress wants us to believe. Please look at our rich history...”

12.33pm: How can one of the leaders say India got a democracy due to Pandit Nehru and the Congress Party? Is this their reading of India’s history? What arrogance is this: PM Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.29pm: For decades, one party devoted all their energies to serving one family. The interests of the nation were looked over just for the interests of one family: PM about Congress.

12.26pm: I don’t know where Mallikarjun Kharge [Congress leader in Lok Sabha will be after Karnataka elections. I congratulate him; it could be his farewell speech: Modi.

12.25pm: Telangana aage badhe iske pakah mein hum bhi hain, par aapne Andhra ke logon ke sath hadbadi mein jo kiya uska nateeja hai ke aaj 4 saal ke baad bhi samasyaaen hain: PM Modi in Lok Sabha.

12.15pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his speech. Opposition MPs shout slogans.

10:46am: Members of TMC protest at Mahatma Gandhi statue on the premises of Parliament over prices of diesel and petrol and withdrawal of Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill.

9:35am: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad gives Zero Hour notice in Rajya Sabha over deteriorating security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, reports ANI.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 09:43 IST