Opinion | PM Modi's Parliament Speech Had Messages For 5 Key Groups

Latest and Breaking News on NDTV

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the media before the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha. In his customary speech, he exuded confidence and reiterated his commitment to consensus-building for serving the nation. With the dynamics in the 18th Lok Sabha having shifted heavily - the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) tally has declined by around 60 seats, and friendly parties have faced a rout - his speech assumes a lot of significance. 

There were five key groups Modi mentioned in his speech.

1. The Indian Public

First, the Prime Minister said in his speech that his government will consistently aim to take everyone along to serve the country and its people, and expressed his resolve to build a 'shreshtha' (best) and 'viksit' (developed) Bharat. Modi also resolved to fulfil the dreams of the people as per the directions of the Constitution. 

Also Read | Revisiting The Emergency: The Prelude, The Clampdown And The Resistance

This can be seen against the background of the BJP having to vehemently counter the Opposition's election narrative that it would attempt to change the Constitution. PM Modi, in order to assert that the NDA will do no such thing, resolved to protect the Constitution as well as India's democratic traditions. 

2. Supporters Of BJP

Second, Modi had a message for his supporters. The BJP's tally of 240 seats, though lower than its initial expectations and 30 short of the majority mark, is no mean feat. This election, said Modi, was significant because his is only the second government after Independence to return for a third term in a row. This, he said, was a public nod for its intent, policies and dedication. 

3. Newly Elected MPs 

Third, the Prime Minister urged newly elected MPs - the first to take oath in the new Parliament building - to engage in fruitful discussions and contribute towards the building of a new and developed India. Underlining the need for inclusive development and speeding up decision-making within the scope of the Constitution, Modi expressed happiness about the number of young MPs taking oath in the 18th Lok Sabha. 

4. Cabinet Ministers

Fourth, Modi exhorted his Cabinet ministers not to get distracted and create a road map to make India a developed country. He underlined that with this third term, the government's responsibility has also increased threefold. He also assured citizens that his government would work three times harder and deliver three times the results.

5. Opposition Parties 

Finally, emphasising the 3C principle of consensus, cooperation and coordination, Modi said, "We believe that a majority is required to run the government, but consensus is very important to run the country."

However, starting off on the front foot in Parliament, the Prime Minister launched a sharp attack on the Congress as India marked 50 years since the imposition of Emergency. In his address to the media before the House session, he said June 25 was a "black spot" on the country's democracy, adding that India's youth would note how the Constitution was scrapped and the country turned into a jail during that period. 

Read | 10 Leaders Who Emerged Strong From Indira Gandhi's Emergency

Modi also had some advice for the Opposition: "India needs a responsible Opposition, people want substance, not slogans; they want debate, diligence, not drama and disturbance in Parliament. I hope the Opposition will live up to the people's expectations ... I have full faith that the MPs who have won will try to fulfil these expectations."

Interestingly, the tone of the Prime Minister's address, both conciliatory and aggressive, suggested an important thing: the BJP may have suffered a setback, but it has no plans to let the Opposition have its way.

(Amitabh Tiwari is a political strategist and commentator. In his earlier avatar, he was a corporate and investment banker.)

Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author