A day after winning the no-confidence motion in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday mocked the Opposition’s attempts at unity, saying the various “dals (fronts)” were nothing but “dal-dal (quicksand)”. He also referred to Congress president Rahul Gandhi embracing him in the House on Friday, saying “woh gale pad gaye (piled on to me)”.
Addressing a ‘Kisan Kalyan Rally’ in Shahjahanpur near Lucknow during his third visit to Uttar Pradesh in a month’s time, Modi specifically referred to the coming together of the Samajwadi Party and BSP in the state, saying the unity of the “cycle” and “haathi (elephant)” was “sabse bada dhokha (biggest betrayal)” of the people.
The PM also called the no-trust motion brought against him a denial by the Opposition of the huge mandate given to his government by the people. “They don’t have trust in the government formed by you with a historic mandate at the Centre.
Kal Sansad mein hum lagatar poochte rahe ki batao to sahi ki yeh avishwas ka karan kya hai. Jab karan nahin bata paye to gale par gaye (Yesterday in Parliament, we kept asking what is the reason for this no-trust. When they failed to answer, they piled on to us in a hug).”
The opposition parties were “obsessed” about bringing a “no-confidence motion”, he said. “Unpe junoon sawaar tha ki Modi ko sabak sikhana hai, Modi ko hatana hai (They were driven by the idea of teaching Modi a lesson, removing Modi).” However, Modi added, he derives his strength from the public and the “Constitution of Bhimrao Ambedkar”.
About the Opposition closing ranks, the PM said together they made a swamp that could only help “lotus (the BJP)” bloom. “They called the floor test to test their own future. They can’t read the mind of today’s India. Ab to ek dal nahin, dal ke saath dal. Dal ke saath dal to dal-dal ho jaata hai. Aur jitna dal-dal hota hai utna kamal khil jaata hai (Now there is not just one front, but front with front. Two fronts make a swamp, and the bigger the swamp, better the opportunity for the lotus to bloom).”
Continuing his attack on the SP-BSP bonhomie, Modi said, “Be it cycle or elephant, they can make anyone a friend. People understand this selfishness very well.” Targeting the Congress, he referred to the famous comment of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi that Re 1 sent from the Government of India became 15 paise by the time it reached villages. “He said that when their flag flew every where, right from panchayat to Parliament… When they ruled in all the four corners, which hand (symbol of the Congress) used to eat this 85 paisa from Re 1?” Modi said.
He claimed that this diversion of funds was what he had stopped, thus inviting the no-confidence motion. He said that his government had ensured that Rs 90,000 crore benefits directly reach accounts of beneficiaries.
Asking public if they were satisfied with the result in Parliament and whether they thought he had done anything wrong, Modi said, “Now you know how they are running for the chair. They can only see the chair of the Prime Minister and nothing else. They cannot see the country, poor, youth or farmers.”
He went on to speak about the initiatives taken by his government for farmers, especially sugarcane farmers.
In their speeches, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP state chief Mahendra Nath Pandey also targeted Rahul. Yogi said, “Yesterday Parliament saw a scene where a person who used to project himself as someone else admitted himself, and we all heard it, ‘I am a Pappu, and will remain so’.”
Referring to Rahul hugging Modi, Pandey said the Congress chief had so far been a burden on the Congress, and the Opposition. “Aur kal woh Modiji ke gale parne aaye (And yesterday, it was Modi’s turn).” Modi patting Rahul’s back made it clear that the country was in his safe hands and not in the hands of “childish people”, the BJP leader said.