- PM Modi heaps piercing criticism on the Congress
- He says Congress honours only members of Nehru-Gandhi family
- He says people chose BJP in 2014 because they were fed up with Congress
In his first speech in parliament after the Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped piercing criticism on the Congress, referencing everything from the 1975 emergency to allegations of nepotism against the Gandhi family that chairs the party.
Rubbing in the crushing defeat in the polls last month, in which the Congress was left with just 52 seats, PM Modi said that the party and its leaders had "risen so high" that they "could not see the ground". "I wish you go even higher," he said, drawing laughter from lawmakers.
"You have risen so high that you have been uprooted from the ground. Our aim is to remain closer to the people at the grassroots and strengthen them," he said, speaking in parliament in response to the customary motion of thanks on the President's address.
Accusing the Congress of honouring only members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, PM Modi said, "I challenge the government that was in power between 2004-2014 to mention if they ever praised the work of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Did they ever speak about good work of Narasimha Rao ji? The same people did not even speak of Manmohan Singh ji in Lok Sabha in this debate... They never recognised anybody outside the family."
"There are some people who feel only a few names contributed to the national progress. They only want to hear those few names and ignore the others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for India's progress," he added.
Underscoring his government's focus on welfare programmes, PM Modi said that the people chose the BJP in 2014 because they were fed up with the Congress government.
"In 2014, when we were new, we were not familiar with it. The country said 'inse toh bachenge' (we will be spared these people, meaning the Congress) and bought us to power," the Prime Minister said.
"After this government's five-year-long tough work... the people have made us sit here again today," he said, sharing that the "2019 mandate came after a trial by fire".
PM Modi also reminded Congress of the emergency, saying it was "a blot on the democracy that will never fade".
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