With the Opposition continuing to disrupt Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday it was leading to stalling of pro-poor initiatives.
“I have to say with a heavy heart that Parliament is not functioning and the rights of the poor are stalled because of that,” the PM said at the Jagran Forum of Dainik Jagran.
“But what is discussed? GST and Parliament. Whatever has to happen with GST, it will be done in consultation with everybody to decide the fate of India but what about the poor, what about the common man?” he said. “That’s why we are asking to make Parliament run, for these people. In a democracy, which is the biggest stage to have discussions, dialogues and opposition? But if we negate this institution, it will put a question mark on democracy. Our Parliament is the temple of our democracy.”
Modi listed “two major dangers” facing the country. “One is mantantra (whims and fancies) and the other is money tantra. You would have seen that these days we see… (the attitude of) I will do as I desire. Does the country run like this? The country doesn’t run on mantantra, it runs on jantantra (democracy).” About “money tantra”, he said it can “deal a strong blow to democracy in a poor country like India”.
As an example of laws for the poor getting stuck, he cited one that seeks to enhance salary bonus.
The PM underlined the need to engage the masses in the journey to development. “Democracy is strengthened by jan bhagidari (people’s participation). Then loktantra becomes lok shakti,” he said, adding he wants to make the road to development a people’s movement on the lines of what Mahatma Gandhi had done during India’s freedom struggle.