PM Narendra Modi counters Sonia Gandhi’s ‘hawabaazi’ attack with ‘hawalabaaz’ jibe

PM Narendra Modi counters Sonia Gandhi’s ‘hawabaazi’ attack with ‘hawalabaaz’ jibe

PM Narendra Modi said govt could not pass key legislation due to opposition by ‘arrogant’ Congress.

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Narendra Modi addressing the 10th World Hindi Conference. (Source: PIB India/Twitter)

Two days after Sonia Gandhi’s “hawabaazi’’ barb at him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit back Thursday at the Congress calling it “hawalabaaz’’ or corrupt.

Holding the Congress responsible for the stalemate in Parliament during the monsoon session, Modi told BJP workers in Bhopal: “Yeh hawalabaazon ki jamaat (this gathering of the corrupt)… is creating obstructions in a democracy because the ground beneath their feet is sinking. I know what is bothering them. It’s the law on black money.’’

He said his government had hoped to pass key legislations but that did not happen.

“We thought our political rivals will respect the verdict, tempers will cool down, Parliament will eventually work and important decision will be taken. Senior ministers were in touch with rival parties. Except one (Congress), all felt Parliament should function,’’ he said.

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Accusing the Congress of being “arrogant” and not ready to introspect even after the Lok Sabha poll defeat, he said there was introspection in the BJP after the 1984 defeat. The party, he recalled, had only two MPs and all, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, lost in the election.

“Though the 1984 result was considered a tribute (shraddhanjali) to Indira Gandhi, we did not shift the blame or criticise anyone. We sought counsel instead. We kept trying and after 30 years, we formed a government with a clear majority. The Congress, which once had 400 members, is now down to 40,’’ Modi said, recalling how former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi “used to make fun of us… we had to listen to it’’.

The Prime Minister said many of his schemes like financial inclusion and direct benefit transfer were bringing about drastic changes without getting headlines. He said the transfer of LPG subsidy to account holders had reduced the number of (bogus) connections by nearly five crore to save Rs 90,000 crore every year.

“Ye hawalabaazon ka khel chal raha tha… The same hawalabaaz are now calling us to account.” Modi asked party workers to find ways to take the sanitation campaign to every nook and corner of the country between September 25 and October 2 — the birth anniversaries of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Mahatma Gandhi.

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