Tearing into the Congress for describing the NDA government as ‘undemocratic’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said democracy was not the preserve of one single party.
Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address in both the Houses of Parliament, the PM said ‘Congress-Mukt Bharat’ was not a thought of the BJP but that of Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
In an address that was marred by disruptions and a walkout by the All India Trinamool Congress in the Rajya Sabha and most opposition parties in the Lok Sabha, the PM, questioning the Congress’ claim to democratic ideals, said for decades the interests of the nation were overlooked just to cater to the interests of one family.
In his speech in the Lok Sabha, which was marked by disruptions by the opposition, the PM charged the Congress party with dividing the country.
Responding to the charge by the Congress that the present government was indulging in ‘murder of democracy’ in the country, the PM said it was wrong for the Congress to claim that it was the Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru who brought democracy to India.
‘India did not get democracy due to Pandit Nehru, as Congress wants us to believe. Please look at our rich history. There are many examples of rich democratic traditions that date back centuries ago.
Democracy is integral to this nation and is in our culture: How can one of the leaders say India got a democracy due to Pandit Nehru and the Congress party? Is this their reading of India’s history? What arrogance is this,’ the PM said.
Questioning the Congress claims for encouraging democracy, the PM said the nation could not forget how the Congress insulted Mr Neelam Sanjiva Reddy. He also claimed that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi insulted Congress leader T Anjaiah.
He also wondered how many times had there been an election for the post of the Congress president.
We cannot forget how the Congress insulted Mr Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, a proud son of Andhra Pradesh. They humiliated him. Nobody in India needs lessons on democracy from the Congress Party. When Rajiv Gandhi landed in Hyderabad, how did he behave with a Congress leader T Anjaiah. He humiliated a big leader, who did not belong to a privileged background.
How did the Congress act in Kerala, how did they treat the Akali Dal in Punjab? How did they behave in Tamil Nadu? Why did Congress dismiss so many state governments at their will. This is no commitment to democracy,’ the PM said.
Referring the recent election of Mr Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president, the PM said, ‘In December, did we witness an ‘election’ or coronation for the post of Congress President? One youngster raised his voice about this as well.’
The PM said had the late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the first Prime Minister of the country, the entire Kashmir would have been a part of India.
Claiming that the NDA Government has changed the work culture in the nation, the PM said, ‘projects are not only thought about well but also executed in a timely manner. The NDA government is building more roads than the previous one. We have given a strong boost to the infrastructure sector across the nation. More villages are getting optical fibre network in the last three years than they got previously. This is the transformation happening.’