Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took on the Congress over the Triple Talaq Bill, saying while the opposition party was free to mock government policies like the Swachh Bharat and Make In India, it should keep women empowerment above politics. Modi also asked Congress what stopped the party from bringing the Triple Talaq Bill in past 60 years and sought the opposition’s cooperation in passing the legislation, which is yet to be cleared in the Rajya Sabha.
“Congress is vociferously batting for change in Triple Talaq law. If you feel so strongly about bringing changes to the Triple Talaq Bill, then you should have brought the law yourself when you were in power for so many years. What stopped you,” Modi asked.
Continuing his charge, Modi said, “Look at what all you (Congress) mocked – Swachh Bharat, Make in India, surgical strikes, Yoga Day. You are free to mock as you please, but why are you blocking the bill for OBC Commission? Why are you blocking Triple Talaq Bill? Are you not sensitive to the aspirations of OBCs.”
Replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks on President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Modi said the slogan of ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ was not coined by BJP, but by Mahatma Gandhi, who after Independence wanted the Grand Old Party to be disbanded. “The Congress doesn’t want ‘New India’, but the India of Emergency, Bofors and chopper scams. But, we want Mahatma Gandhi’s India as he had said there is no need for Congress now,” he said amid thumping of desks by BJP members.
A couple of days ago, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the NDA was a name-changer and not a game-changer government as it repackaged Congress schemes and launched them. Retorting to the statement, Modi said his party was an “aim chaser” that achieved targets within a deadline. “You call us name changers…we are aim chasers. We work hard and have ushered in a paradigm shift in the working of the government. Innovative projects are being thought about and completed in a time-bound manner,” the PM said.
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Meanwhile, TMC MPs staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha soon after PM Modi began his address. “We were waiting for the PM to make some serious response to the points raised by the opposition, he said nothing. Only bhashan, no action, no vision,” said TMC MP Derek O’Brien.
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Talking about the Congress claim that it had brought Aadhaar, he said, “Let me remind them about a debate in the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and what L K Advani Ji said. It is in his speech that you will find the genesis of Aadhaar.”
Flagging the problem of inflation, Modi said concerns about price rise were legitimate. “It has soared worldwide and to control that we are working hard to make life easier for the lower and middle-class people. Using the Consumer Protection Act and the Consumer Empowerment Act, we reduced the prices for stents, knee surgeries, dialysis and other necessary medical procedures and supplies,” the PM said.
Modi also raised the issue of holding simultaneous polls and said thousands of crores had been spent in conducting elections and asked whether a country like India could afford to spend so many resources for it. “The pressure on the Centre due to continuous elections is unhealthy. During elections, these tu-tu main-main will be there, but at least for four years the government should be able to work properly,” he said.