The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi replied to the debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address, in the Lok Sabha on 07 February, 2018. He said several Members of Parliament had expressed their thoughts on various subjects, and added that the address by the Hon’ble President does not belong to any party, but is about the aspirations of every Indian.
Whenever the Government is criticised by select Opposition parties, substance is lacking, he said that they go back to recalling the time when they were in power. This is the same party that divided India, he added.
He also criticised the manner in which the previous Congress-led central government handled the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. When we speak about creating new states, we remember the manner in which Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji created Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the Prime Minister said, adding that Vajpayee ji had showed how farsighted decision making is done.
He said that for decades, one party devoted all their energies to serving one family. The interests of the nation were overlooked just for the interests of one family, he added. How can one of the leaders say India got democracy due to Pandit Nehru and the Congress Party, he asked. Is this their reading of India’s history, what arrogance is this, he added.
The Prime Minister said that India did not get democracy due to Pandit Nehru, as Congress wants us to believe. Exhorting Members to look at our rich history, he said that there are many examples of rich democratic traditions that date back centuries ago. Democracy is integral to this nation and is in our culture, he asserted.
Shri Modi recalled that once when Shri Rajiv Gandhi had landed in Hyderabad, he misbehaved with a Congress leader Mr. T Anjaiah, humiliating a big leader, who did not belong to a privileged background.
How did the Congress act in Kerala, how did they treat the Akali Dal in Punjab, how did they behave in Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister asked. Why Congress dismissed so many state governments at will, he asked, adding that this does not indicate their commitment to democracy.
We cannot forget how the Congress insulted Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, a proud son of Andhra Pradesh, the Prime Minister said. They humiliated him, he asserted. Nobody in India needs lessons on democracy from the Congress Party, he said.
In December, did we witness an ‘election’ or coronation for the post of Congress President, the Prime Minister asked. He noted that one youngster had raised his voice about this as well.
The Prime Minister said that the NDA Government has changed the work culture in the nation. Projects are not only thought about well but also executed in a timely manner, he said. He asserted that the NDA government is building more roads than the previous one. We have given a strong boost to the infrastructure sector across the nation, he added.
The Prime Minister gave examples of the Bidar-Kalburgi rail line in Karnataka, and the Barmer Refinery in Rajasthan, to explain how BJP Governments at the Centre and the State serve the nation and care for 125 crore Indians.
The Prime Minister said that he sees energy and enthusiasm in our youth. They want to do something on their own, they want to launch their own start-ups, he said, adding that the Government is giving wings to the aspirations of India’s middle class. He said the Union Government had prepared an aviation policy that focuses on smaller cities and towns, so that more Indians can fly.
Shri Narendra Modi said that when the Government took office in 2014, the chorus from the opposition was that the UIDAI will be scrapped. He said that when Aadhaar was made more effective in terms of enabling better and effective service delivery, suddenly the opposition began opposing Aadhaar. When the corrupt and middlemen are out of work, obviously the Congress will be unhappy, he said.
He said that India’s middle class desires good education facilities, affordable housing, good infrastructure. They want ‘Ease of Living’ which we are committed to providing, he added.
The Prime Minister said that he is aware that the Government’s efforts to eliminate corruption and black money are hurting a select group of people. Today, people who served as Chief Ministers are in jail, he said, adding that however powerful one was, if one has been corrupt, that person will be punished. We are in an era of honesty, he asserted.
Shri Narendra Modi said that the workings of the previous Government are responsible for the NPA mess. The banking policies of the previous Governments were not proper, he said.
He said that the nation’s army was fighting in Doklam but leaders of one party preferred to meet Chinese officials. The same party questions the army on surgical strikes, he added.
The Prime Minister asserted that a new India has to be created, and exhorted the Members to work together to fulfill the dreams of the people.