Rahul Gandhi responds to PM’s jibe, says Nehru and Pakistan are Modi’s tools of ‘distraction’
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Parliament on Thursday accusing him of invoking references to Pakistan and Jawaharlal Nehru purely for distracting from the “real” issues. Rahul was responding after having been at the receiving end of Prime Minister’s sharp witty rejoinder in the house moments earlier.
“PM Modi’s style is to distract the country from the core issues. He talks of Congress, of Jawaharlal Nehru, of Pakistan, etc but not of core issues,” said Gandhi.
Gandhi seemed to be referring to Modi’s assault on the Congress over the imposition of a state of emergency in the country for 18 months between 1975 and 1977, and its leaders siding with the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Shaheen Bagh and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The Prime Minister also invoked Nehru while arguing that even India’s first prime minister wanted to protect the minorities in Pakistan and if that made him a communal leader.
Watch | ‘PM Modi’s style is to distract country from core issues’: Rahul Gandhi
In his counter attack, Rahul told journalists outside the parliament that PM had skirted real issues in his speech like loss of jobs during his government’s second term.
“The biggest issue today is unemployment and jobs, we asked PM many times, but he did not say a word on this. Earlier, the Finance Minister gave a long speech but she also did not say a word on it,” Rahul said.
A glimpse of their continuing political duel came during the PM’s speech when he took a dig at Rahul Gandhi’s intervention and suggested the former president of the Congress party was slow to react.
“I was speaking for the last 30-40 minutes but it took this long for the current to reach there. Many tubelights are like this,” the PM said.
Modi came up with a witty riposte to Rahul Gandhi’s comment that “youth will hit him (Modi) with sticks” by saying he will do yoga to strengthen his back to bear the brunt of the blows.
“I heard an opposition leader say yesterday that the youth will hit Modi with sticks in six months. I have decided that I will increase my frequency of Surya Namaskar so that my back becomes so strong that it can bear the hit of so many sticks,” Modi said.
The Lok Sabha passed the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address by a voice vote after two days of debate.
President Ram Nath Kovind had addressed a joint sitting of Parliament on January 31.