PM Modi attacks Congress, doesn’t speak on JNU row, Pakistan visit
The Opposition blocks Parliament due to inferiority complex and the government is cleaning up the mess left by 60 years of Congress rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday in a stinging attack on his detractors.india Updated: Mar 04, 2016 01:46 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the Congress on Thursday, accusing the principal opposition party of disrupting Parliament because of an inferiority complex and jealousy. In a 70-minute speech in Lok Sabha laced with sarcasm and ridicule, Modi also targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi indirectly, saying some people grow older but “don’t become mature”.
Modi’s attack on the opposition came a day after Gandhi launched a broadside against the PM’s style of functioning and mocking the new black money policy as a “fair and lovely yojana”.
The government and the opposition are engaged in a stand-off in Parliament and outside over a host of issues including the suicide by a Dalit scholar and the sedition row at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The opposition accuses the BJP-led government of curbing free speech and raking up nationalism to target ideologically opposite groups.
Modi, however, skipped the controversy over Rohith’s suicide, Rahul’s barbs against the government on its Pakistan policy and the Naga accord.
“Why (is) the House is not being allowed to run? Not because there is anger against the government but due to an inferiority complex,” Modi said in his reply to the motion of thanks to the President.
Modi mocked the main opposition party in a veiled reference to the party’s leadership.
“There are many promising and bright leaders even in the Opposition benches. If the House runs, they too will get chances to speak in the House. If they speak, they will earn praise and then, ‘hamara kya hoga’ (what will happen to us)?” Modi said.
Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were present in the House when Modi took potshots at the Congress leadership.
The PM sought the Opposition’s help in passing crucial bills in Parliament but not before saying that his government has to work so much because the Congress didn’t do anything to eradicate poverty for 60 years.
The Prime Minister quoted speeches of three former Congress prime ministers -- Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – to highlight the alleged disruptive tactics in Parliament in an obvious bid to corner the opposition.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi was heard protesting from her seat: “What did you do for 10 years (when the BJP stalled Parliament proceedings)?”
Modi referred to a story about former USSR premier Nikita Khrushchev saying that during Joseph Stalin’s era nobody dared to ask questions to him. The comment was seen as his reply to Rahul Gandhi’s charge that nobody including ministers, bureaucrats and diplomats speaks in the government as the PM is the sole decision-maker.
Watch | Modi invokes Rajiv, Indira for peace in parliament
In a other indirect jibe at Rahul, the Prime Minister talked of “respect to one’s elders” raking up Rahul’s 2012 act of tearing up a Samajwadi Party manifesto into pieces and his remarks about throwing an Ordinance concerning convicted lawmakers -- approved by the Manmohan Singh cabinet - into a dustbin.
“The country can never forget that on September 27, 2013 Manmohan Singh was in the US and a decision taken by his cabinet was torn up in a press conference,” Modi said.
On Wednesday, finance minister Arun Jaitley attacked Rahul in a Facebook post titled, “How much does he know – when will he know.”
On Thursday, Modi said in his speech, “Some people grow older but don’t become mature. Some people take a lot of time to understand things. And there are people who never understand and so, they like to oppose things.”
The Prime Minister ended the speech seeking help and cooperation from the opposition, but given his barbs at the Congress, it’s anybody guess as to what impact his appeal would have.
First Published: Mar 03, 2016 15:14 IST