In sharpest attack at Opposition, PM Modi says decade of UPA-rule riddled with ‘scams and violence’

In sharpest attack at Opposition, PM Modi says decade of UPA-rule riddled with ‘scams and violence’

In sharpest attack at Opposition, PM Modi says decade of UPA-rule riddled with ‘scams and violence’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India was emerging as a manufacturing hub as well as one of the fastest growing economies globally and that had led to the developed countries of the world acknowledging India’s prosperity and its “growth story”.

“India is emerging as a manufacturing hub, the world sees its prosperity in India’s growth, but some people don’t want to accept that fact. Some people who are neck deep in frustration refuse to accept India’s growth story. They cannot see the achievements of 140 crore Indians,” PM Modi said in a reference to the Congress party and its leaders. The Prime Minister was replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha.

Beginning his speech by lauding President Droupadi Murmu’s address in Parliament, the PM said she was an inspiration for everyone and had “shown people the way”.

In what seemed to be one of his sharpest attacks on the Congress-led Opposition, the Prime Minister said the decade of 2004 to 2014, the ten years immediately preceding the BJP’s tenure at the Centre had been a “decade of scams and violence”. “The UPA’s trademark was to let every opportunity turn into a crisis from 2004-2014. 2004-14 was a lost decade, the current one will be known as India’s decade,” he said. In an all-out attack on the Opposition, the PM said that there was hope of further progress in every sector in the country but “some people were so steeped in frustration since the people’s mandate was against them that they could not see India’s growth trajectory”.

Lashing out at his critics in Parliament, Prime Minister Modi went on to say that the Opposition had wasted the last nine years in making allegations against him and the ruling party at the Centre and that “compulsive criticism replaced constructive criticism during this period.” He also referred to “vote bank politics” and said that the trend had harmed the country significantly. He mentioned that the people of the country had immense trust and faith in him, which provided him with a “protective shield against the arrows of abuse and lies” fired at him. He also added that the Congress believes it can return to power by abusing him.

“Before 2014, between 2004-14, inflation was high. That decade was the most corrupt since Independence. In UPA’s 10-year rule, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the entire country was gripped with terrorism. From Jammu and Kashmir to the northeast, the entire region saw nothing but violence. In those 10 years, India was so weak at the global stage, no one was even ready to listen to India. Between 2004 and 2014, the UPA turned every opportunity into a crisis,” he elaborated.

“When they lose elections, they abuse the EVM (Electronic Voting Machines), EC (Election Commission), when verdicts are not in their favour they abuse the Supreme Court, when investigative agencies probe corruption they abuse them, when the Army shows its valour they criticise and abuse the Army,” the PM said said, adding, “They have shown their bankruptcy to the people.”

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the Enforcement Directorate had done what the voters over several years could not—it had united the Opposition parties. He said it was the rampant corruption which occurred during the UPA’s rule that had brought politicians and political parties under the scanner of the Central investigative agencies.

On Wednesday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s decision to expunge several remarks made by senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi linking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to industrialist Gautam Adani during his speech in the Lower House on Tuesday drew a barrage of criticism from the Opposition parties.

A total of 18 remarks that the Congress leader had made during his 53-minute speech on Tuesday were removed from the records. Gandhi responded by tweeting a video clip of his speech that contained some of the questions he had asked the Prime Minister. He wrote in Hindi, “Prime Minister, you cannot eliminate the voice of democracy. The people of India are asking you questions, give us some answers.”

The remarks that were removed from the records include Gandhi’s questions on the Prime Minister’s relationship with Adani, his mention of some photographs suggesting proximity between them, and his argument that their relationship dates back to the years when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. The expunged remarks also include Gandhi’s allegations regarding the Mumbai airport which suggested that the “Adani Group’s takeover of Mumbai airport should be a case study in crony capitalism”.

Reacting to the PM’s comments, members of the BRS, Left parties and a few members of the Congress raised slogans and walked out of the Lok Sabha in protest during the Prime Minister’s speech.