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Selling pakodas better than being jobless: Amit Shah

Blaming the Congress for unemployment, Shah said it took a long time to come out of the “hole” that it had left the country in, but schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Swachh Bharat and Ujjwala Yojana had brought relief.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: February 6, 2018 7:49 am
Amit Shah addressed the Rajya Sabha on Monday “It is better for a youth to earn a living selling pakodas instead of being unemployed. Making pakodas is not shameful, what is shameful is comparing such a person with a beggar,” Amit Shah said

Countering the Congress’s criticism, BJP president Amit Shah, in his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, said it was better to sell pakodas than remain unemployed. Shah had a message for his party’s allies too, as he pointed out that the BJP could have formed the government on its own after the “historic” mandate in 2014. This comes at a time when the BJP has been facing criticism from some of its allies.

Initiating the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, Shah said: “It is better for youth to earn a living selling pakodas instead of being unemployed. Making pakodas is not shameful, what is shameful is comparing such a person with a beggar.”

He pointed out that a “chaiwala’s (tea-seller) son has become the Prime Minister today.”

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that selling pakodas too was a form of employment. Congress leader P Chidambaram had countered that by that logic, even begging was a job.

Blaming the Congress for unemployment, Shah said it took a long time to come out of the “hole” that it had left the country in, but schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Swachh Bharat and Ujjwala Yojana had brought relief.

He said Rs 73,000 crore has been deposited in 31 crore Jan Dhan accounts, over 3 crore poor women have got gas connections, and the price of stents has been brought down. The National Health Protection Scheme, providing Rs 5 lakh health cover to 10 crore families, would now be implemented in the country as “NamoHealth”, he said.

“Many have come to power on the slogan of garibi hatao, but it is the BJP government led by Narendra Modi that has really worked along those principles,” he said.

Addressing the BJP’s allies, Shah said: “We went to the elections as an alliance. That is why, despite getting a majority on our own, we included them (allies) in the NDA government. NDA allies, recognising our sentiments, have helped take the journey of this government forward.”

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In his almost 90-minute speech, Shah termed GST as a big reform which “realised the dream of one country, one tax”. Referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remark that GST was Gabbar Singh Tax, Shah said Gabbar Singh was a dacoit in the film Sholay. “Is a dacoity taking place here? Is legally claiming taxes from people dacoity? Is this the understanding of people? And where does this Gabbar Singh Tax/ GST go? It goes in the bank account of a jawan for giving One Rank, One Pension. It goes in the bank account of widows of martyrs. It goes towards giving poor women (clean cooking fuel) Ujjwala Yojana,” he said.

He denied that the BJP had earlier opposed GST. “It is said that the BJP (state) governments opposed GST when the Congress government was in power. This is not true. The BJP never opposed GST but only opposed its ways,” said Shah. The problem then, he said, was the states’ lack of trust in the UPA government. On the other hand, he said, the BJP got everyone on board and sanctioned Rs 37,000 crore to cover the losses of states.

While admitting teething problems in implementation of GST, he said the government was sensitive and over 30 procedural changes were effected through the GST Council meetings. He dared the Opposition to make public the minutes of the GST Council meetings, saying it was speaking a different language in Parliament while its state ministers were supporting it.

“One language at the GST Council meeting, another in Parliament, and a different language at the meetings. What kind of the politics is this? Shall we publish the minutes of the GST Council meetings and make them public,” Shah asked.

He also pitched for simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections. “This government has a principle. We do not take decisions that people like. We have seen governments which took decisions for vote bank (politics) to suit people’s likes, but this government takes decisions that are good for the people, not decisions that they may like,” said Shah.

Shah appealed to the Congress to support the Bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), saying there was no politics involved. Referring to the Triple Talaq legislation, Shah said Muslim women were battling for their rights in courts for years. “When the Prime Minister brought a legislation to protect the rights of Muslim women, the Bill was stalled in the Rajya Sabha,” he said. When the Congress protested at the use of the word ‘stalled’ he said, “we can bring the Bill tomorrow again. Why don’t you pass it then?”

Speaking after Shah, BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said: “Most of the members on the other benches, unfortunately, are indulging in crass politics of doubt… we are working with politics of determination. This is a struggle of doubt versus determination, ridicule versus resoluteness, fragmentation versus fraternity.”

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  1. Sudalaimani Soundararaj
    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    Young Indian jobless people have to sell pakodas in Indian streets. Modi will under take foreign tour every alternate days with tax payers money. In India now there are two PMs . One is Modi and his job is to wear costly dress and tour the whole world without any benefit to the nation. The other PM is Amit Shaw and he is actually running the Indian administration like use/ misuse IT/ CBI / ED etc and interfering Judiciary. That is the reason the four SC judges said that DEMOCRACY IS IN DANGER.
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      Dinnoo
      Feb 6, 2018 at 12:20 pm
      Most horrible and disgraceful comment for our educated graduates including engineers and others from our great FEKU PM and now his stooge is, like a puppet,repeating the same in the Parliament.These shameless buggers should be and must be removed in 2019.Be ready for that.The time is fast approaching to kick them out.
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        theeagu
        Feb 6, 2018 at 7:46 am
        So, Finally the BJP boss accepted that they will not provide jobs to educated youths. Every one should be prepared to sell Pakkodas. Hence universities should immediately add this in their syllabus. Further who are all doing this business will face stiff compe ion and finally whatever left financial with them will collapse. After that every one will be jobless. Forget the promises made by BJP during 2014 election. Be ready for 2019 election promises.
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          Manoj Chakravarty
          Feb 6, 2018 at 7:35 am
          By the way, this whole business of allowing children to perform on stage and on screen for the sake of earning money is essentially 'child labor' only that when this is done by the well-to do, it's fashionable, and when it is done by street performers and des ute children to bring food on the table, it's referred to as begging. What a disgrace.
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          1. Venkatarama Muthuswami
            Feb 6, 2018 at 7:29 am
            Please tell your PM guy that being a graduate without job and forced to sell Pakoras is indeed shameful to your sarkar, despite all fanfare. He should think deeply before opening his wide mouth. It will be good.
            (21)(1)
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            1. Freak Jesus
              Feb 6, 2018 at 7:56 am
              So for 70 years before 2015 every graduate got job and was living in a beautiful house? Guys Modiji just came to power 3 years ago. Stop spreading lies and hate in the name of the fascist rapist christian church.
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                Abhay
                Feb 6, 2018 at 8:12 am
                s like you will always be swayed by People like Shah. Unemployement or under employment is an economic phenomenon. In ours economy it is cyclic, as in every capitalist economy. There is a measure called unemployment rate which is highest for two decades as of now. But, you fools think that it is something which is a legacy of 55 or 70 years. The legacy of those years is that a chaiwala was able to become PM, and millions got out of poverty. Legacy of modi regime is that jobs mean selling pakodas.
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              2. Joshi C Haran
                Feb 6, 2018 at 9:11 am
                Your degree should have made you capable of taking vare of yourself at least. Honestly you should be contributing to the growth of the country being a graduate. Even if you don't do it at least take care of yourself! (Stop being a beggar after getting your degree)
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