Congress attacks BJP during motion of thanks

Congress attacks BJP during motion of thanks

Electioneering virtually extended to Parliament on Tuesday during the motion of thanks on the President’s address as the ruling NDA and Congress traded charges against each other quoting extensively from their campaign promises.

In its first direct confrontation, the Congress dismissed BJP’s claims of ushering in development as mere repackaging of UPA schemes and cautioned the NDA against being arrogant in the backdrop of a clear majority.

Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, sought to remind the BJP that though they have the numbers in the Lok Sabha, it had the support of 31 per cent of the total electorate and 69 per cent was still opposed to it.

“Don’t be under the impression that you can suppress our voice because we are only 44 in number and you have more than 300 members. We are not going to be suppressed. Whatever be the number of Kauravas, they could not suppress the Pandavas. It was the Pandavas who ruled eventually,” Kharge said, leading to loud thumping of desks by Congress members led by party president Sonia Gandhi.

Kharge’s refrain during his 45-minute address was that Modi was good at repackaging and marketing UPA initiatives as his own. “Nothing new has been said. Modi only repackages what is already done,” he said.

Earlier, initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks on the President’s address, BJP member Rajiv Pratap Rudy ridiculed the Congress for being reduced to a regional party, contending that the people had punished it for “65 years of misrule”.

He also took a jibe at regional parties such as the Trinamool Congress, SP, BSP and the RJD and pointed out that the BJP’s vote share had increased in states where these outfits have held sway.

Rudy dwelt extensively on the “Herculean” efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during electioneering, which prompted Opposition members to remind him to speak on the President’s address to the Joint Session of both Houses of Parliament.

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who seconded the motion moved by Rudy, said the mandate was in favour of the NDA and should be respected.

In the Rajya Sabha, leading the BJP charge, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asserted that the Modi government would take everyone along in the process of ushering in development across the country.

He also listed out the number of initiatives announced by the President, including women’s safety, developing 100 modern cities and stamping out terrorism.

Tearing apart BJP assertions, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad charged the Modi government with “copying” the UPA agenda of governance of the last 10 years.

“Even the BJP slogan ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is a translation of Dr Manmohan Singh’s agenda for ‘inclusive growth’,” Azad said.

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