NEW DELHI: With assembly elections in Kerala round the corner, the BJP today went hammer and tongs in the Lok Sabha against the Left parties projecting them as the "witch" in the fairy tale of India's growth story.
"When we were children, we saw some witch or some demon in the fairy tales. Likewise, there are witches in every growth story," BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi said while initiating the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address.
Amid sharp protests from CPI(M) members, Lekhi listed out killings allegedly committed by Left cadres in the southern poll-bound state and accused them of committing "atrocities on campus" and "white-washing their brutalities through repressive policies".
"They have committed Taliban fashion of executions," she alleged, amid vociferous protests by Left members. The attack on the Left also came against the backdrop of CPI(M) and its allies being in the forefront in targeting the BJP and the Centre over the JNU row.
Lekhi said while the Narendra Modi government was making strides amid a volatile global economic scenario, the Left parties keep raising issues to "derail" development. The attack on the Left came soon after the Prime Minister entered the House and a BJP MP passed on some papers to Lekhi, apparently reminding her to raise certain issues.
Japan has given USD 12 billion worth package for infrastructure development activities, including for the bullet train project, Lekhi said.
"With 7 per cent GDP growth, India is emerging as a leader in the global economic sphere despite adverse international conditions," Lekhi said. Highlighting various initiatives taken by the government including 'Make In India', Lekhi said very few countries are poised like India to take the economic leap.
India's economy is USD 2 trillion and USD 8 trillion on PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) basis, she said, adding that through 'Make In India', the Prime Minister wants to make the country a global manufacturing hub. On foreign policy, she said the government has done immense work barring a few glitches in neighbourhood but did not elaborate.
Referring to the recent terror attack in Pathankot, Lekhi said it was one of the worst and the government had handled it very differently. The country has to face state as well as non-state actors in dealing with terrorism, she noted.
Targeting the Congress, Lekhi claimed India was known for corruption till the government under Narendra Modi came to power. Noting that the "biggest drawback" that led to corruption was the problem with the banking system, she said there have been improvements in that sector since the NDA came to power. Earlier, loans were given to big businessmen and some of whom did not return the money, she said.
On problems of farmers, Lekhi emphasised the need for having a coordinated approach among all stakeholders, including state and central governments, to address the problems faced by farmers. Seconding the motion, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur said the country has made progress leaps and bounds under the leadership of Modi with "minimum talk and maximum work" despite creation of all the "road blocks and disruptions".
Attacking the Congress without taking its name, the Akali Dal leader said of the last six Parliament sessions, three sessions have been a washout due to the "disruptive politics".
"How can you (the Congress) allow passage of GST as this will earn praise for the Prime Minister. How can they digest it? By discussing intolerance, the country does not progress."
"Over the last 20 months, the economy has been a bright spot despite the gloomy global scenario ... he (Modi) has created hope," she said, adding that "We have done so much that you cannot match up to it. You keep thinking on how to fail Modiji, but by doing so it is not failing the nation."
Kaur, whose party is a BJP ally, said the country has seen over 39 per cent rise in FDI over the last 20 months and its ranking has imporved by 16 points in the Global Competitive Index report by the World Economic Forum. Over 8000 kms of road has been constructed in last 20 months and with an increase of 125 per cent.
She said due to the "transparency" initiatives taken by the government, the exchequer earned Rs 3.3 lakh crore and Rs 1.10 lakh crore. Speaking about the Skill Development programme in the country, the minister said over Rs 1 lakh crore has been disbursed and given Rs 2.60 crore and majority of them are women.
Listing out the government's achievements, she said the compensation for farmers in case of a ntural calmaity has increased by 1.5 times and the Pradhan Mantri Bimay Yojana will not bring more agriculturalists under its ambit, but also give them more benefit.
The debate will continue tomorrow.