An aggressive Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday contrasted his 55 months of “seva” (service) with the 55 years of “satta bhog” (hunger for power) displayed by the Congress while replying to the motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha.
Highlighting his government’s achievements a couple of months ahead of the general elections the Prime Minister said that it was the “arrogance of the Opposition that brought them down from 400 to four” and that “it is the ‘seva bhav’ of the ruling party that has brought their number up from two to 282.”
“We are a government that works for the people of India, sensitive to people’s aspirations, honest, transparent, against corruption and for fast pace of development.”
The Prime Minister coining new acronyms for ‘BC’and ‘AD’ — the two time periods — took a swipe at the Congress, saying the Opposition party has known only two phases — ‘Before Congress’ and ‘After Dynasty’.
“I had to come and do what you [Congress] could not do,’’ he said.
In a 100-minute speech, Mr. Modi also hit back at the Congress over the Rafale issue, stating: “I used to wonder why the Congress lied about the Rafale deal with such confidence and then I realised... under the previous governments defence deals had middlemen... the Opposition gets frazzled when someone works with honesty.”
“The Opposition does not want the Indian Air Force to be strong. I am levelling a serious allegation here. You want the Rafale deal to be cancelled. At whose behest? For which company?”
“The Opposition has become rotten now. When I seek a Congress-mukt Bharat, I am merely fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s desire,” Mr. Modi said.
He scaled up the attack saying that while the Opposition is accusing him of “bringing down institutions” it was the Opposition that was doing this.
“The Congress imposed Emergency, but they say Modi is destroying institutions. The Congress insults the Army, calls the Army chief a ‘goonda’ but they say Modi is destroying institutions. The Congress misused Article 356 to dismiss State governments several times. Indira Gandhi herself dismissed State governments 50 times and they say that I am destroying institutions.”
“The Opposition questioned the Election Commission and electronic voting machines but is accusing me of destroying institutions. They bullied the judiciary but Modi is destroying institutions. They call the Planning Commission a bunch of jokers... but Modi is destroying institutions. The youngsters today should know this truth which is why I am stating this,” said Mr. Modi, adding that this is a “case of — ulta chor chowkidar ko dante.”
He also warned the Opposition that their attempts to cobble a grand alliance of parties for a “mahamilavat” (highly adulterated) government will not work for the country.