New Delhi: In a scathing attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed it for Partition today, accusing the party of devoting its energies to "the interests of one family," while neglecting the interests of the nation. The country, the PM said, is "still paying for the sins of the Congress." His speech in the Lok Sabha included several barbs at Rahul Gandhi, whose recent elevation as Congress president the Prime Minister described as a "coronation, not an election". He continued the attack in Rajya Sabha, telling lawmakers that it was Mahatma Gandhi who had first pitched the idea of a Congress-free India.
- PM Narendra Modi launches scathing attack on Congress in Parliament
- PM says, country is "still paying for the sins of the Congress"
- PM says, for petty gains, even 70 years ago, Congress divided the nation
"Don't lecture us on democracy. It was your party chief who tore up an ordinance and threw it in the faces of the media... It was your party chief who did not let young leaders get their points of view," the Prime Minister said, while replying to a motion of thanks on the President's address in parliament.
As he spoke in the Lok Sabha, opposition lawmakers continuously shouted slogans, attempting to disrupt the speech. The Prime Minister did not stop speaking, saying, "Your slogans can't drown my voice, I wish the opposition listened to me quietly." Rahul Gandhi was present in the house and was seen listening intently to the Prime Minister, at times gesturing quizzically.
Outside Parliament, Mr Gandhi said, "He keeps taking about the Congress... yes, there is a place for it. You do it at a public rally, its perfectly fine, but not in parliament. Here you don't criticize or raise questions on the Congress, here you answer to the people of the country."
The Prime Minister, taking on the opposition on a series of attacks they made on his government and its policies during their speeches in the discussion, listed achievements of his government, saying, "When we compare the work done in three years of the NDA government to that done by the Congress overall...When we compare the facts, figures and numbers...well, what comparison are we even talking about? There is none. The Congress has failed the people miserably."
"The country was partitioned, the seeds of poison was sown. You divided the country for electoral and petty gains...people are suffering even today," the Prime Minister said.
He also criticised the manner in which the previous Congress-led central government handled the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. "When we speak of creating new states, we remember the manner in which Atal Bihari Vajpayee-ji created Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. He showed how farsighted decision-making is done," he said. In contrast, the Congress "messed up" while dividing Andhra Pradesh, the Prime Minister said, adding, "They did it in a hurry, and without much thought or research."
In his later address to the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi continued the attack on Congress. Citing Mahatma Gandhi's statement that the Congress was no longer needed since India got Independence from the British, PM Modi said "Congress-mukt Bharat" was not his idea, but Gandhi-ji's idea.
He countered the Congress claims about the NDA government "repackaging" UPA government's schemes as NDA government's achievements." You also called us name changer... if you look at our work, you would call us aim chasers," PM Modi said.
Taking on the Congress over the 1984 Sikh riots, the Prime Minister asked if the party wanted the emergency era back. "You don't need a new India, you need that India where law bends its knees in front of the powerful," he said.