"Congress Would Have Taken 100 More Years...": PM Modi Blasts Past Regimes

The Prime Minister was making his last speech in Parliament before the 2024 general election, and launched no-holds-barred attack on his rivals, specifically the Congress.

New Delhi:

A combative Prime Minister Narendra Modi ripped into the opposition Monday - taking special aim at the Congress - ahead of a general election due in less than three months, declaring the party "would have taken 100 more years" to achieve what his BJP had done in the past 10 years.

"Our goals are big and the world is seeing that. The pace at which work is progressing in India... Congress can't even imagine it. We built four crore houses for poor people... 80 lakh pukka houses. It would've taken 100 years for Congress to get this work done..." the Prime Minister said.

Responding to the Motion of Thanks on President Droupadi Murmu's speech last week, Prime Minister Modi fired a series of sharp jibes and jabs - met with cheers and thumping of desks by his MPs - at the Congress, which he held "responsible for the state of the opposition today".

"They (the Congress) failed and didn't allow other parties to perform... They have ruined Parliament, the opposition, and the country. I believe the country needs a strong opposition," he said, as he taunted his rivals for having "lost the will to fight..." "They will sit there for more time to come."

Mr Modi also took a dig at senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi - who remains the de facto prime ministerial face of his party despite two consecutive Lok Sabha election defeats - and his "mohabbat ki dukaan" slogan. "They are trying to launch one product again and again..." he chuckled.

The Prime Minister also attacked former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, declaring the Congress had "never trusted India's potential". "Nehru said, 'In India there is no habit of working hard (like) Europeans, Americans.' This shows Nehru belittled Indians..." Mr Modi declared.

Mr Modi's attacks on the Congress are significant given the party is, nominally, the head of the INDIA bloc formed in July last year, which is supposed to unite the opposition in a bid to defeat the BJP.

The INDIA bloc, however, has struggled to overcome seat-sharing problems, with key members - like the Trinamool, the AAP, and the Samajwadi Party, challenging the Congress citing the national party's abysmal record in recent elections. In fact, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar - seen as a founding member of INDIA - last month walked out of the grouping and re-aligned with the BJP

Exuding confidence, the Prime Minister began his speech with taunts aimed at an opposition that has, by and large, failed to beat his BJP in elections over the past decade. "... can say it is clear they will sit there (gesturing to the opposition benches) for more time to come," he chuckled.

"I can see many in the opposition have lost hope... strength to even fight elections. I've heard many want to go to Rajya Sabha instead of Lok Sabha. The President's address is, in a way, based on facts and truth... and is a big proof of reality that is presented in front of people," the Prime Minister said.

"Look at the Congress' situation. (Congress chief Mallikarjun) Kharge had to move the House and (former leader) Ghulam Nabi Azad had to leave the party," he continued

The PM also exploded in anger when an opposition MP complained the President's speech did not mention minorities. "According to you women and farmers are not minorities? Till when will you keep dividing society?"