NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday tore into the Opposition dismissing their Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) as Mahamilawat (grand adulteration) and set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by contrasting the report card of his government with five decades years of the Congress rule.
Stating that people have the least appetite for adulteration, Modi exuded confidence that the electorate would once again vote for a strong government.Replying to the discussions on motion of thanks on President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint session of Parliament, a combative Modi rebutted accusations of Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge on a host of issues, including unemployment, Rafale, and damage to institutional autonomy.
The PM also alleged that the vested interests who have been hit by the choking of foreign fund flow to some 20,000 NGOs, banishing middlemen in defence deals and plugging leakage in social welfare schemes with the seeding of Aadhaar, are fanning out anti-Modi sentiments. Making a veiled reference to fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya, Modi said those who ran away from the country are now crying that more assets have been attached than their liabilities.
Kharge in his speech hit out at the government for rampant unemployment, besides the ruling NDA compromising the autonomy and integrity of institutions in the country.Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi lamented there has been a drastic decline in the registrations of small and marginal enterprises in the country following demonetisation.
In his reply, Modi observed that some people in the Opposition were working against the interests of the country. “A press conference is held in London to cast aspersions on Indian democracy,” he said, while listing out incidents like imposition of Emergency, spreading rumours of a military coup, and raising doubts on EVMs to drive home the “hypocrisy” of Congress, which, he said, even “tried to bully the judiciary by threatening impeachment against a former Chief Justice of India”.
Pokes Congress on ED probe against Vadra
In an indirect reference to the ED’s probe against Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra, Modi said details of illegal properties are being unearthed. “For whom? Where? When? Details are coming out,” he said, also recalling the recent extradition of economic fugitives. Congress leaders are unsure what the raazdar (ones with secrets) will reveal, he added
Cites GoP’s record on destroying institutions
A former prime minister (Rajiv Gandhi) had called the Planning Commission a “bunch of jokers”, Modi recalled. And Congress governments at the Centre misused Article 356 to dismiss close to 100 state governments - 50 of them by Indira Gandhi alone. Yet, they accuse his government of destroying institutions, Modi quipped