NEW DELHI: Retaliating strongly to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s barbs against him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday alleged that ‘scamsters’ are unnerved due to the tough stance of the government on black money and were putting roadblocks to the reforms agenda.
Attacking the Congress chief for her remarks that he had been ‘reduced to unedifying flip-flops’ and most of his poll promises were nothing more than ‘hawabaazi’ (empty talk), he said the ‘hawalabaaz’ (scamsters) were seeking answers from him as his government had plugged leakages in schemes and enriched the nation’s coffers.
Modi was in Bhopal to inaugurate the 10th World Hindi Conference, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs. Before the event, addressing local BJP workers at a meeting, he said Congress was resorting to “disruptive tactics” as it was unable to come to terms with its defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. Singling out the Congress for the complete washout of monsoon session of Parliament and blaming it for delaying the Goods and Services Tax Bill, he said even as other parties wanted the House to run and business transacted, “there is one, who does not accept this”.
“I wonder whether there is a place for an attitude of confrontation due to sheer arrogance in a democracy. I had publicly appealed to the party, which has been defeated and has been rejected by the people, to allow Parliament to function. While the world is facing a huge economic crisis, India is standing on its feet. Today, the country has a never-before opportunity to move forward. Let us not waste it,” he said. The PM further said, “We had not prorogued the monsoon session with the hope that the opposition party will take into account the hopes and aspirations of the country. But they did not accept and finally, with a heavy heart and sadness, we had to decide to prorogue the session yesterday (Wednesday).”
Maintaining that in a democracy political parties should introspect on how to strengthen themselves if they lost elections, Modi said if people elected somebody for five years, the mandate had to be respected. “I know their problem. The ‘hawalabaaz’ are disturbed due to the tough law that we have made against black money. The land beneath them is slipping away. They are sensing the danger hovering around them. This group of ‘hawalabaaz’ is trying to put roadblocks,” he said.
Responding to Modi, Sonia Gandhi, who was in Rae Bareli, questioned why he did not clarify on the allegations against MP and Rajasthan CMs and the Foreign Minister. Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala extended the “hawabaaz” debate, saying, “The country will judge who is ‘hawabaaz’ and ‘dagabaaz’ (a betrayer).”