NEW DELHI: If Rahul Gandhi in his speech at the Lok Sabha on Wednesday directed his entire attack against Narendra Modi, even asking him to engage and listen, the Prime Minister reminded the Congress vice-president what he was up to from tearing the ordinances of his government to those of the veteran leaders like Mulayam Singh, and even making fun of the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Apart from launching a scathing attack on Congress, the underlying theme of the PM’s speech was reaching out to the entire Opposition to help pass key bills like GST, Waterways Bill and Bankruptcy Bill.
The Prime Minister quoted Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi and grandmother Indira Gandhi to remind the main opposition party to let the house function and stop disrupting the proceedings. The PM referred to the country’s first president Rajendra Prasad, former Speaker and senior CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee’s advise on letting the house function, to Nikita Krushchev-Stalin anecdote to drive home his point allowing everyone to vent their views. He said that the House should not become ‘Tu-tu, main-main’ slanging match.
The face-off between Gandhi and Modi became the high point of the Budget session, as the Prime Minister in his inimitable style did not mince any words as he tried to corner those who are opposed to him. Though, the PM did not name Rahul in his speech, there was little doubt in everyone’s mind as to who was on the other end of the Prime Minister’s strong counter. In his speech laced with sarcasm, humour and acerbic wit, Modi said that the Congress, despite ruling for over 60 years, was now suffering from inferiority complex as they were not allowing others to speak.
The PM, however, skipped issues like JNU and Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide, which the opposition had raised. Speaking during the motion of thanks to the President’s Address, the PM said, “The President has mentioned Parliamentary practices. and also that the house has to hold debates. What has happened in the last few days has hurt the entire country”.