Making his final speech in the 16th Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday sought a majority government again in the next general elections, saying India’s growing global image was not because of him or External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj but because of its “poorna bahumat wali sarkar” (absolute majority government).
Highlighting what had been achieved in the House over 17 sessions starting June 2014, Modi fired salvos at Congress president Rahul Gandhi without naming him.
“Pehli baar pata chala ki gale milna aur gale padna mei kya antar hota hai” (for the first time I have learnt the difference between a hug and forcing oneself), he said, taking a swipe at Gandhi who had hugged him in Lok Sabha last July. He also mentioned “aankhon ki gustakhiyan” — a reference to Gandhi’s wink after the hug.
In another potshot at Gandhi, Modi said “we used to hear” in Parliament that “bhookamp aane wala hai… par koi bhookamp nahi aaya” (there will be an earthquake but no earthquake came). In December 2016, Gandhi had said that his speech in the House would trigger an earthquake.
Counting the achievements of the 16th Lok Sabha, Modi gave it credit for the laws passed, policies decided and the repeal of unwanted laws. “I have not stood up to count the government’s achievements, but the work done by this House in five years,” he said. One of the most significant accomplishments, he said, has been that India has “become the sixth largest economy in the world” and is close to being a $5-trillion economy because “niti nidharan yahin se hua” (the policy was determined here).
Since Independence, Modi said, only Vajpayee’s NDA-I and his own government did not belong to the “Congress gotra”.
He said all members present would, in their rallies or books, recall that they were “members of the Lok Sabha that passed laws against black money and corruption”. He mentioned laws including the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act among others. He said because of these steps, “coming generations” will be thankful.
He said in eight of the 17 sessions, productivity was more than 100 per cent, while overall it was above 85 per cent. The Lok Sabha passed 203 of the 219 Bills introduced.