PM seeks opposition’s support, but attacks Congress (Roundup)

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress on Wednesday, comparing it with “death” which he said never gets criticised, even as he urged the opposition to pass bills in the Rajya Sabha.

Replying to a debate on the motion of thanks on the president’s address to parliament, Modi asked the opposition in the Rajya Sabha to support the bills passed by the Lok Sabha.

But the appeal did not stop him from taking potshot at the Congress, saying the country’s opposition party felt it was “above criticism”. This, he said, was not true for opposition parties.

And Modi used “death” to underline his point.

“Death has a blessing… It’s above criticism… No one criticises death. People say someone died of cancer, (people say) he died of old age… The cancer and old age are blamed but not death…

“Sometimes I feel the Congress is also blessed (like death)… Whenever we criticise the Congress, the media says opposition is under attack,” the prime minister said.

This does not happen when something is said about other opposition leaders such as BSP’s Mayawati or Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav.

The Congress, he implied in his 90-minute speech, wanted to take credit for everything.

Unlike on previous occasions, the proceedings have gone on smoothly in the ongoing budget session.

Modi quoted Indira Gandhi as saying that there were two kinds of people — one who worked and the other who always took credit. “Try to be the first kind.”

The Congress, he said, was “trying to take credit for all the projects and initiatives of my government”.

He invoked Jawaharlal Nehru – the country’s first prime minister – to call for coordination between the two houses of parliament.

“Coordination between both houses is important. Any lack of coordination will increase problems and obstruct work – this was said by Nehru.”

“Give importance to this, and all pending bills will be passed. It will be a big role the house of elders will play,” he said, mentioning the GST bill which has been pending in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a minority.

Responding to the holes picked up in the Jan Dhan Yojana by Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, the prime minister said: “He did good work. This should happen. Only then the executive will be accountable.”

He followed it up with a sarcastic comment: “They (Congress) are working hard. Had they worked so hard while they were in the government, I would not have to do all this.”

He appealed to the opposition to pass the motion of thanks unanimously, but that was not to happen.

“I will appeal to the members. Trusting the President’s vision, withdraw the amendments and pass the motion of thanks unanimously.”

Azad, however, moved an amendment with reference to the education qualifications set for Panchayat elections in Haryana and Rajasthan but without mentioning the two states in the amendment.

This was passed following voting through a division in the house.

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