He spoke of governing India through sahmati (consensus) not bahumati (majority), sought the cooperation of all political parties and thanked his predecessors and their governments for taking the country to the heights it has attained. Yet Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned only three names — other than that of the Mahatma, Maharishi Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda — while recalling contribution and none of these were from the Nehru-Gandhi family.
* Nehru’s successor found mention early in the address. “Lal Bahadur Shastri had given the slogan Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan. A soldier sacrifices himself at the border and protects Mother India. Similarly, a farmer serves Mother India by filling the godowns with grains. This is also national service. Filling the granary is the biggest national service that a farmer provides. That is why Lal Bahadur Shastri had given the slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.”
* Sardar Patel too was there. “I clearly believe that India’s foreign policy can be multi-dimensional. But there is an important issue to which I want to draw your attention that the way we fought for freedom, we fought together, we were not separate at that time. We were together. Which was the government with us? What were the weapons available to us? There was a Gandhi, a Sardar and lakhs of freedom fighters and such a huge empire. Didn’t we win in the struggle of freedom against that empire? Did we not defeat the foreign powers? Did we not force them to leave India?”
* And then came JP. “On 11th October, the birth anniversary of Jaya Prakash Narayanji, I will present a complete blueprint of Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana before all members of Parliament and state governments. I urge state governments that as per feasibility in their states, all MLAs should resolve to establish a model village each.”
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.