Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying to motion of thanks on President's address in the Rajya Sabha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying to motion of thanks on President's address in the Rajya Sabha.

'Country needs to be saved from foreign destructive ideology': PM Modi in RS

'Was wondering whether Derek O'Brien was thinking of West Bengal when he was speaking of intimidation,' Narendra Modi said.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2021 02:46 PM IST

Giving his reply to the debate on Motion of Thanks on President Ram Nath Kovind’s address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday touched upon several issues including Covid-19, farmers' protest and international attention to it.

"It would have been better had all listened to the significant speech that the President delivered. But the message was so significant that even if it was not attended, the message was delivered," PM Modi said, opening his speech.

"There were many apprehensions over India's Covid-19 situation. And it was natural because nobody has thought a challenge like Covid-19 would befall. Countries could not help each other — the situation was like that. But we overcame it and the credit does not go to any government. But it goes to the people. What is wrong in taking pride in how India handled Covid-19 situation?" PM Modi said.

LIVE: 'MSP tha, hai aur rahega,' PM again assures farmers protesting farm laws

"There are so many issues for opposition politics. But why to make fun of this pride that India can take in itsCovid-19 approach," PM Modi said.

Congratulating state governments, PM Modi said Covid-19 gave an opportunity to enshrine the values of cooperating federalism.

"A lot has been said about India's democracy in this House. I do not agree to all these. I was listening to Derek O Brien's speech which was full of big words like intimidation etc. I was wondering whether he was speaking of West Bengal. Possible as he is seeing what is happening in West Bengal round the clock," PM Modi said.

Quoting Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, PM Modi said India's democracy is a human institution; it's neither narrow nor self-centred, not aggressive. "India is the biggest democracy in the world, we love to parrot this. But we have to teach our youth that India is the mother of democracy," PM Modi said.

"Challenges are there as there is nothing without challenges in the world. But the point is whether we want to be part of the challenge or its solution," PM Modi added.

"A lot of discussions took place on farmers' protest. But most of it was concentrated on the protest and not the solution. Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomarji raised some valid questions in the House. But I think those questions will never find answers," the Prime Minister said.

Explaining the situation of the small-scale farmers in India, PM Modi said the regular government schemes of loan waiver does not benefit India's small farmers as they don't have a loan. PM Modi referred to his government's projects of Kisan credit card, pension yojana, Kisan rail, Kisan udaan etc which are aimed at helping small-scale farmers.

"Every government has raised the issue of small-scale farmers, irrespective of whatever they could do or could not. Sharad Pawarji and Congress too talked about farm laws. But now there is a complete U-turn. You could have cornered us on the process but at the same time, you could have also explained to the farmers that it time to change," PM Modi said.

As he was speaking on farmers' protest, he referred to former PM Manmohan Singh and quoted from the latter's speech where Singh pitched for enabling farmers to sell their produce. "Take pride in the fact that Modi has to do what Manmohan Singh had said long ago," PM Modi said in a lighter vein.

"Some people are trying to create unrest in India. We should not forget what happened with Punjab. In 1984, Punjab suffered the most. What happened in J&K, northeast hurt India. Sikhs are being misled. The country is proud of the Sikhs," PM Modi said referring to the recent international support to farmers' protest.

Terming this as a new FDI, which if foreign destructive ideology, PM Modi said, "The country needs to be saved from this FDI."

Thanking the House for healthy debates, PM Modi said, "I don't mind what all was said to me but I am happy that at least I came to some use; you are relieved now unburdening all pent-up anger on me. Modi hai toh mauka lijiye," he said concluding his speech.


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