Kharge slams Modi for 'shortcomings'

Kharge slams Modi for 'shortcomings'

Amid tension over land acquisition bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat through much of a discussion on the motion of thanks on the President’s address in Lok Sabha, listening to the Opposition leaders.

As Modi sat calmly, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge unleashed a blistering attack at the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over issues ranging from prices of diesel to the proposed amendments to the land acquisition law, which was passed by Parliament during United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

The Congress leader also targeted Modi for his prolonged silence on the “divisive remarks” made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, suggesting the prime minister to “finish such people” around him before he is “finished” by them.

“This is first time you sat here (in the Lok Sabha) for more than three hours. I hope you would take the issues raised by me seriously. I would only suggest that please do not allow your people to spread an atmosphere of hatred in this country. Stop your followers and supporters from resorting to such act. This is neither good for the country nor for your government. Finish such people before they finish you,” Kharge said. In an apparent response to a series of attacks on Christian institutions in Delhi, Modi broke his silence on February 17 and vowed to protect all religious groups.

 “Recently, you spoke about your government’s commitment to peoples’ right to choose their faith and propagate it. This is what we had been demanding in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If you had spoken here, things would have calmed down. Your government would not have to issue so many ordinances and we could have worked together,” Kharge said.

The Congress leader said that it was because of Modi’s silence that Obama got an opportunity to “drop a bomb” by reminding India about an Article in the Constitution which vested citizens the right to choose and propagate any faith of their choice.

Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, however, objected to Kharge for taking name of the US president in the House, ruling that the reference made to Obama by name will be expunged from the minutes of the proceedings of the House.

“Only you can stop many of your leaders who are making inflammatory speeches outside Parliament because they came here after getting elected (in Lok Sabha polls) in your name, not the BJP,” Kharge said.

Kharge also objected to BJP member Nishikant Dubey’s suggestion that previous governments did not do much to the progress of the country in last 60 years. “A nation is not made in a day or year and the democracy which allowed you to come in such large numbers was built in last 60 years,” the Congress leader said, maintaining that the NDA renamed many of the UPA era programme and introduced them as their own.

Members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Trinamool Congress also attacked the government.  “The Prime Minister’s cleanliness drive was nothing but a photo opportunity. There is no content in the government. PM is like a film actor. It is not a PM’s work,” BJD’s Bhratruhari Mahtab said.

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