Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday strongly hit out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi accusing him of arrogance, negativity, childish conduct and a burning desire to become PM. Modi said he was extending best wishes to the Congress and other opposition parties to bring another no-confidence motion in 2024.
Modi replied to the debate on no-confidence motion, moved by TDP’s Jayadev Galla, against the government in the Lok Sabha, said the Congress lacked self-confidence and had no faith in Chief Justice of India, Election Commission, Electronic Voting Machines, Reserve Bank of India and programmes like Swachh Bharat.
The motion was defeated by 325 votes to 126. Modi highlighted the work done by his government for different sections including farmers, youth, women and weaker sections to boost BJP’s prospects in the state elections later this year and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Replying to barbs of Gandhi, Modi said he is “kaamdar” and “not a naamdar” and could not see him in the eye. “They have confidence in nothing. Today the nation has seen the negativity expressed by some members. India saw how some people are so deeply opposed to development. What we saw among members of the opposition was sheer arrogance. The only thing they have to say-remove Modi. To remove one Modi, see who all they are trying to bring together,” he said.
Modi, who was loudly cheered by treasury benches, attacked Gandhi over his remarks on Doklam stand off with China and the Rafale fighter jet deal with France. “One of the leaders spoke about Doklam. The same leader, who believed the Chinese Ambassador over our forces. What have we come to? Everything does not merit a childish conduct. Due to one careless allegation in the House on Rafale, both nations had to release statements. My appeal to the Congress is please do not bring politics in national security,” the Prime Minister said.
He alleged the Congress had described the surgical strike of 2016 as “jumla strike”. “We have seen how the Army chief was insulted by their leaders. You have called surgical strike a jumla strike, the country will not forgive you. You can abuse Modi but not the forces. Stop insulting the jawans of India,” he said.
Modi, who spoke for nearly 90 minutes alos attacked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi over her remarks on Wednesday that the opposition had the numbers in the no-confidence vote. “See her arrogance. I was reminded about 1999 when she stood outside Rashtrapati Bhavan and said-we have 272 and more are joining us. She destabilized Atal Ji’s government and never formed one herself,” he said.
He blamed the Congress for the huge non-performing assets of banks, saying that loans disbursed had increased to Rs 52 lakh crore during UPA rule. “I want to tell you about the NPA problem. Much before Internet Banking, Congress Party invented Phone Banking and this caused the NPA mess. A phone call would get loans for their cronies and the nation suffered,” he said.
Referring to the triple talaq bill, Modi said the government stands with the Muslim women in their quest for justice. He also condemned mob lynchings and said any instance of violence brings shame to the nation. “I will once again urge the state governments to punish those who indulge in violence.” Modi said India is seeing the record pace of work in various sectors such as roads and railways. “We are here because we have the blessings of 125 crore Indians.”
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi over winking to a party colleague after hugging him, Modi said: “The entire nation saw what the eyes did. It is clear in front of everyone. In the morning, the voting was not over, the debate was also not over one member comes running to me saying – Utho Utho Utho…
“What is his hurry to come to power? Let me tell this member it is the people who elected us. That is how we have come here,” he said referring to Gandhi coming to hug him.
Countering Gandhi’s jibe that Modi was not a “chowkidar” but a “bhagidaar” in the gains of corporates, Modi said he was a bhagidar in the march of poor for development, but not a “saudagar” or “thekedar” like the Congress. He also accused the Congress of practicing the politics of “emotional blackmailing Dalits and the deprived”.
“There is a conspiracy to push the country towards violence. These were the people who made fun of Baba Ambedkar but are now singing his praises. Whoever came in front of the dreams and aspirations of one family was pushed to the sidelines.”
He blamed the Congress for partition between India and Pakistan and said the country was still suffering because of that. He slammed Congress over the way it had bifurcated Andhra Pradesh and said the government was committed towards its development as also of Telangana.