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Modi uses ‘keechad-kamal’ jibe, says he alone outweighs entire opposition

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unleashed a stinging attack against the Opposition, saying the more “keechad” (dirt) they will fling, the bigger “kamal” (lotus) will bloom and asserted that he alone outweighs all those who take turns to shout slogans to oppose him.

Thumping his chest amidst the Opposition slogan shouting “Modi-Adani, bhai-bhai” in Rajya Sabha, Modi declared that he lives for the country and wants to do something for the country, which has rattled the opposition parties and they are playing political games just to save themselves.

Taking a swipe at Congress, which has criticised the government for ignoring Jawaharlal Nehru’s efforts in nation-building, Modi asked if the first prime minister was so great, why have his scions never used his surname. He also said that as per reports, the Congress named as many as 600 schemes after the Nehru-Gandhi family.

In a no-holds-barred attack against the Congress, he accused it of trampling on the rights of states and regional parties by dismissing elected governments on 90 occasions by “misusing” Article 356 of the Constitution. Indira Gandhi alone had used the article 50 times to dismiss governments, he added.

He also accused the grand old party of adopting only “tokenism” in solving problems the country faced and said it was bothered only about its political ambitions and not the welfare of the nation.

“We don’t believe in tokenism. We have chosen the path of hard work in taking the country forward,” he said.

Modi delivered his 90-minute speech in reply to a debate on a motion thanking the President for her address to a joint sitting of Parliament, amidst the Opposition members shouting for a probe by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into allegations raised against the Adani Group by the US-based Hindenburg Research firm.

Unperturbed by the jeering, the Prime Minister said,”Desh dekh raha hai, ek akela kitno ko bhari pad raha hai (the country is watching how one person has outweighed so many).”

With members of the treasury benches chanting “Modi-Modi”, the PM pointed at the opposition MPs who had gathered in the Well of the House in a bid to shout him down and said, “Naare bolne ke liye bhi unko badal karna padta hai (they have to take turns even to shout slogans).”

“Ek conviction ke karan chala hoon, desh ke liye jeeta hoon, desh ke liye kuch karne ke liye nikla hoon (I live for the country and have embarked with the conviction to serve the nation),” he said, adding his political opponents are playing games as they do not have the courage to take him on.

The opposition, he said, is resorting to all this to save themselves.

As he rose to speak, opposition MPs, some holding placards, rushed into the Well shouting slogans against the prime minister and seeking a JPC.

Hitting back, Modi said, “Jitna keechad uchaloge, kamal utna hi zyada khilega (the more dirt you fling, the bigger the kamal – the election symbol of BJP – will bloom).”

“Keechad unke pass tha, mere pass gulal. Jo jis ke pass tha, usne diya uchal,” Modi quoted Manik Verma’s poem in response to the allegations opposition parties levelled on him and his government.

Roughly translated, it means they had dirt and I had ‘gulal’, whosoever had whatever they flung in the air.

“Some people’s behaviour and language are disappointing not just for the House but for the country,” he said in an oblique reference to the allegations opposition parties levelled against him.

Lambasting the Congress, Modi said,”this country is not anyone’s fiefdom. Our policies reflect national and regional aspirations…But these people who are now sitting (with Congress), I want to expose them today.”

He then narrated how elected governments of the Left in Kerala, NT Rama Rao in Andhra Pradesh, Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra and M G Ramachandran in Tamil Nadu were dismissed by the Congress. And today these parties are sitting along with the Congress, he said.

“NT Rama Rao’s government was dismissed when he was in the US for medical treatment,” he said, adding M G Ramachandran must be turning in his grave seeing his DMK align with the Congress.

He also alleged that the Congress had committed sins in the past and was now trying to mislead the country. He also alleged that the Congress did not know the difference between jobs and employment.

The Prime Minister warned states against resorting to populist measures for political gains, saying it would be “anarth-niti” (disastrous policy).

With many parties in states promising freebies and reverting to heavy cash outflow schemes like old pensions in the run-up to elections, he cited examples of near bankruptcy in neighbouring countries to say that they should not play with the financial health and economic policies. “Do not do any such sin which leaves the burden on the next generation.”

The Congress, he charged, was against science and technology and it defamed Indian scientists who developed indigenous COVID-19 vaccines.

“They do not leave any chance to defame our scientists,” he said, adding attempts were being made even “till yesterday”.

Modi said during the Amrit Kaal — the period up to the centenary of India’s Independence — his government would aim to provide benefits of all welfare schemes to everyone and achieve 100 per cent saturation levels, and put an end to any scope for appeasement based on caste and religion.

“Saturation of every welfare scheme is true secularism for us…This also eliminates discrimination and corruption,” he asserted.

He listed various achievements of his government – from eliminating the waiting period for getting cooking gas to opening bank accounts for everyone and providing electricity connections.

The effort was to create a brighter future and not look at political gains, he said, alleging that the Congress’ economic, social and political policies were based on votebank only.

“The country is rejecting the Congress time and again, however, the Congress and its allies fail to learn from their failures,” he said.

The Prime Minister noted that schemes were delayed in the past and this had become the norm as the hard-earned money of taxpayers was wasted. “We are coming out with such a work culture that will break the tradition of shedding discrimination.”

“If they had worked with ‘nek neeti’ (good intentions) for tribals, then I would not have to work so hard in the third decade of the 21st century. But, they did not do so,” he lamented.

Asserting that it was his government’s resolve that India becomes ‘Viksti Bharat’ by 2047, the Prime Minister said,”India is ready to take the giant leap and not look back anymore”.

The motion was passed by voice vote after Congress members walked out saying they wanted to seek clarifications from the Prime Minister, who left soon after his speech.


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