NEW DELHI: In an emphatic defence of his nine-month-old government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hit out at the Opposition for targeting him regarding his foreign trips, policies on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), black money, and land Bill. But more significantly, he sent out a strong and clear message on religious tolerance, saying India’s strength lay in its diversity.
Claiming that the country can only function within the framework of the Constitution, he said, “No one has the right to take law in his own hands. No one has the right to discriminate against others on the basis of religion. Everyone has a right to walk together, and how this government will function is my responsibility.”
Seeking to silence those who make comments based on religion, Modi said he doesn’t want to waste his time on them, but show them his government’s commitment. Coming a day ahead of the BJP-led government’s second budget — expected to unleash Big Bang reforms — Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha appeared to signify that he is in control as he didn’t shy away from any topic. Attacking Congress, he said, “There were rumours that MNREGA will be shut. You may say I do not have knowledge in some areas... But I do have political acumen. My political acumen tells me never shut MNREGA. I will never make that mistake... MNREGA is a living monument of your failures,” pointing at Sonia Gandhi in the House.
The PM told the agitating agrarian community that he was ready to make changes in the land Bill if there was anything in it against farmers.