New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that “false accusations” and criticisms levelled against his government by the Opposition would not pass muster with the people of India, declaring that “the blessings of 140 crore Indians” was his “ Suraksha Kavach (shield)”.
PM Modi was responding to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to the joint Houses of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget session. Without mentioning specifics of the allegations levelled against him, the PM said that criticism was the bedrock of democracy, a “ shuddhi yagya (purifying trial by fire)“. However, instead of constructive criticism, “some people indulge in compulsive criticism”, he said.
“People levelling such compulsive criticism may note that these things will not pass muster with people who are experiencing basic facilities for the first time,” he said, enumerating the various welfare programmes of the government like free food grain, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi income support scheme for farmers, and tap connections to eight crore households under the Har Ghar Jal programme. He emphasised that Indians’ trust in him was not due to newpaper headlines or glitzy appearances on television, but due to his work in his long career in public life.
In a speech peppered with couplets from satirist Kaka Hathrasi and poet Dushyant Kumar, Mr. Modi also took a veiled dig at Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi. The PM said that some speeches made on Tuesday were “lauded by their ecosystem” and “maybe they slept well and couldn’t wake up on time. The PM said that in his career in public life over the last four to five decades, he had lived among the people, adding that the nature of Indian society was such that while it tolerated “negativity”, it did not accept it.
“When they (Opposition) lose elections, they blame the Election Commission and the Electronic Voting Machines; if judgments go against their wishes, they blame the courts; if corruption is investigated, they blame the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for having an agenda other than investigation. In fact, one can say that while the voters could not convince the opposition to unite, ED has done so,” he said. “The Opposition must also do some self reflection on the contradictions in their accusations. On the one hand, we hear since 2014 that India has grown weaker, and now its being said that we are forcing other countries to do things at our say so,” he said, a response — again without naming names — to accusations that countries like Sri Lanka and Israel had favoured the Adani group with contracts at the government’s say so.
Prime Minister Modi described the “negativity” among the Opposition as stemming from, first, the multiple mandates given to the BJP by the people; and second, typical of the 10 years of the UPA government which he described as the “lost decade” between 2004-2014. The years 2020-2030, on the other hand, would be “India’s decade”, he said.
“Between 2004-2014, we had power blackouts, militant attacks took place and inflation was in double digits,” the PM said. He compared his own government’s performance favourably to that of the UPA, stating that India’s position on the global stage had strengthened. As evidence, he pointed to India’s presidency of the G-20 group of nations this year, and the fact that the country had become the fifth largest economy in a challenging global environment buffeted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Ukraine and Russia. “India has a stable and decisive government after many years, which is undertaking reforms not out of compulsion but out of conviction,” he said. The motion of thanks to the President was then passed by the Lok Sabha by voice vote.
Leave a Reply