New Delhi: The Prime Minister today used his speech in Parliament to deliver a comeback to a senior Congress leader, who had won big points by comparing his party's small numbers in Parliament to the Pandavas, the five brothers who fight their evil cousins, the 100 Kaurava brothers, in the epic Mahabharata.
"The period of the Pandavas and the Kauravas is over," said Mr Modi, "but people still root for the Pandavas." (Highlights of Prime Minister's speech in Lok Sabha)
Referring to criticism from the Congress that his government is appropriating UPA policies and has no out-of-the-box ideas of its own, Mr Modi referenced the Mahabharata again. "Duryodhana (the eldest Kaurava brother) said that he knew what was true and good, but it wasn't in his nature. And so whether you (the UPA) came up or thought of good policies...I don't deny that...but Duryodhana also knew what was good..."he said, drawing laughs.
Then, he said, "But what we should not forget is to be humble even in victory. Victory teaches us a lot. It teaches us humility. We should not be arrogant,'' the PM said to wide applause.
His speech was part of the Parliamentary debate on the roadmap that his government has unveiled for the next five years.
Yesterday, former union minister and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge drew a great response when he said that though his party has just 44 members in the Lok Sabha, it will function like the Pandavas who overcame their numerical handicap to defeat the Kauravas.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seen thumping her desk in approval and opposition leaders also seemed appreciative of Mr Kharge's analogy. (Read)
The PM today assured opposition parties, "We don't want to move forward without you, I don't want to move ahead on basis of numbers but on the basis of collective strength".