New Delhi, June 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address in Lok sabha on Tuesday. He expressed gratitude to the nation for awarding him a massive mandate. "The country has granted us with more powers than in 2014. We will strive to live up to everyone's expectations," the PM added.
The Prime Minister recalled the "horrors of emergency" while targeting Congress, the prime Opposition party. "Soul of the nation was crushed on this day, June 25, 44 years ago," he said, adding that all castes, groups, religions had fought together to reclaim democracy. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Stokes Row, Calls PM Narendra Modi 'Gandi Naali' in Lok Sabha
Modi also blamed the Congress of weakening its approach on uniform civil code and national security as they considered the Muslim community as a vote bank. He quoted a senior Congress leader as saying during the Shah Bano era that if the "Muslim community wants to live in the gutter, then let them be". While the Prime Minister did not name the Congress leader, he assured the House that he would validate his claim with the video link of the interview.
Further continuing his tirade against the Congress, Modi called the party family-centred and accused it overlooking its own icons, including former PM Manmohan Singh and ex-President Pranab Mukherjee.
"There are some who feel only a handful of names contributed to national development. They only want to hear those few names and ignore others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for country’s development," Modi said.
PM Modi: I challenge the govt that was in power between 2004-2014 to mention if they ever praised work of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Did they ever speak about good work of Narasimha Rao Ji? The same people did not even speak of Manmohan Singh Ji in Lok Sabha in this debate https://t.co/08lSi59q0E
— ANI (@ANI) June 25, 2019
In the next 5 years, Modi claimed, the goal is to further strengthen and secure the nation and giving an impetus to the nation's inclusivity.
Modi said a period of five years cannot be suffice to cure the malaise of 70 years, but his government strove to bring the nation to the path of peace, prosperity and development.
"I know that it takes time to change things which have been existing for last 70 years. We did not divert or dilute from our main goal. We have to move forward, be it regarding infrastructure or in space," he added.
The Prime Minister claimed that electoral gains or setback never factored in his governance or policy-making.
"I never think about polls in terms of victory and defeat. The opportunity to serve 130 crore Indians and work to make a positive difference in the lives of our citizens is special to me," he said.
Modi, however, jabbed top leaders of the Opposition camp who went on "vacations" following the Lok Sabha elections.
"Even we were running for 6 months for the election campaign. But we are not among those who leave the nation for holidays. Our life is dedicated to the nation and every day is committed to the public," he said.
Significantly, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi left for abroad following the Lok Sabha poll results in which his party faced a severe drubbing.
After lambasting the Opposition, Modi said his focus is not on exposing his political rivals. The goal, instead, is to steer the nation towards innovation, technology and progress. "Jab iraada kar liya hai oonchi udaan ka, tab fizool hai dekhna kad aasman ka," the PM said.
Modi also congratulated several of his critics on being elected to the Parliament, including arch-rivals Azam Khan of Samajwadi Party and Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
Ahead of the PM's reply, a major row was stoked in the Parliament's Lower House, with senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling Modi a "gandi naali" while replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President's address.
Chowdhury's controversial remarks were triggered after BJP MP Pratap Sarangi compared Modi with Swami Vivekananda, the 20th century cultural icon of India.
Irked by the comparison, the Berhampore MP said Vivekananda is akin to river Ganga, whereas, Modi is a "gandi naali (sewer)".
The address by Modi in Lok Sabha marks his first official address in the House after winning the general elections 2019 with a brute mandate.