Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that the BJP returned to power as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “very big salesman” while the Grand Old Party failed to market its product in the parliamentary elections.
While speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, Chowdhury said, “Our Prime Minister is an excellent salesman, and he should be – after all, that is why he won and Congress lost. Congress failed in selling the product, but BJP succeeded, regardless of the quality of what is being sold.”
“They think that praising Modi is sufficient, he will help them sail through (Modi baba paar lagayenge),” Chowdhury further said.
Upping the ante against the Prime Minister, Chowdhary said, “In one of his speeches, PM Modi had said that only after he came to power do people feel proud of their Indian heritage. Which means that Vajpayee was not true Indian.”
The Congress leader from West Bengal also termed the NDA government as a “compliment-addicted”, one that likes to hoard praises by “manipulating facts”. “We might have lost, but we will still work for the common people. But our current government is trying to steal credit for it because it is a compliment-addicted government,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP for alleging a scam in the sale of 2G spectrum, Chowdhury said if there were any wrongdoing, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi would not be sitting in the Parliament.
“Did you manage to catch anybody in 2G and coal allocation scam? Did you manage to send Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji behind the bars? You came to power by calling them thieves, then how are they sitting in the parliament?” he asked.
Assailing the Centre over agrarian distress and farmer suicides, the Congress leader said the country was reeling under drought, but the government was not worried.
“You ask ‘are you not happy about Modi’s victory?’ We say ‘Modi is just a citizen of the country.’ The difference between you and me is that you are happy in Modi’s victories, I am happy in India’s victories,” he said.
Chowdhary said several major public sector undertakings (PSUs) were formed under the Congress rule. “How many PSUs have you started?” he asked while listing all the achievements of Congress government in various sectors like nuclear power, space technology and education.
“Artificial intelligence, robotics, advance in telecom sectors? All these were former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s achievements,” he added.
The Congress leader alleged that the BJP government only renamed and repackaged several schemes launched by the Congress government to benefit the poor.
“MNREGA, Right to Information, Food Security Act, Right to Education… numerous landmark and important laws were brought in by the Congress. And what has this government done? Renamed all these schemes,” he said, adding that the Centre is showing the symptom of a disease called “political plagiarism”.
During his address to the Lower House, certain remarks made by Chowdhury were expunged after the Chair considered them unparliamentary.