Starting with claiming that it seems the Congress has made up its mind not to return to power for 100 years, to inflation during Congress rule to calling it the leader of the ‘tukde tukde gang’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply on Monday to the President’s address was full of jibes at the Congress and at times its leader Rahul Gandhi.
The first jibe that Modi took at the Congress was how state after state has been deserting the Congress and listed all the states that have not voted Congress for more than 25 years. “If you have had feet on the ground, then you would have seen the work done by my government. But most of you are stuck in 2014. You are facing the result. You give a lot of advice but forget that you too have had the opportunity to sit here (on the treasury benches) for 50 years,” Modi said.
He listed Nagaland, Odisha, Goa, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and even Telangana and Jharkhand that were created during Congress rule.
Modi said the Congress lacked introspection and retrospection and that is why, despite the electoral losses, “it seems you are not ready to give up your arrogance. Also, your ecosystem does not allow you to let it go.”
As he listed the achievements in various sectors, Modi also said that his government is working hard to make the defence sector Atmanirbhar. “Some may find this too problematic,” he said as he looked at the opposition benches, mainly comprising Congress leaders.
Mentioning the problems faced by humanity during the corona pandemic, Modi said, “Congress crossed all limits during the pandemic time. The Congress government in Maharashtra handed over free tickets to migrants to leave Mumbai. In Delhi, the AAP government offered bus rides to people to leave Delhi and go back to their native places. As a result, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh all saw spiralling cases across these states.”
Without taking the name of the Congress party but looking directly at the Congress leaders, Modi said some people were waiting that the corona virus will damage his image, which was out of opposition to Modi. “It seems you have decided not to come back to power for 100 years. But now that you have decided it I too have prepared for it.”
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s comments on poverty and reminding that the Congress’ favourite slogan during its time was ‘Garibi Hatao’ (poverty removal) that won it several elections then, “but then the poor of the country were fed up as it did not happen and finally voted them out after 2013.”
Modi quoted Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at least twice to attack the Congress. One of them was how Nehru blamed the Korean war for inflation or other reasons and said, the opposition constantly raises the issue of inflation. “During Congress/UPA rule, the inflation rate never came down below two digits. We have managed inflation well even during the two years of the pandemic.”
Taking the name of Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who Modi said was writing columns criticising his government, and pointed out Rs 15 rise on water bottle or Rs 20 for ice cream is tolerable but public cannot tolerate Re 1 in wheat or rice price.
Modi quoted Tamil poet and author, Subramanyam Bharati and said the Congress tried to hurt Tamil pride, Tamil sentiment. I salute the people of Tamil Nadu who lined the streets for hours when they bid farewell to the mortal remains of late CDS Bipin Rawat.
But the most scathing was Modi’s describing Congress as a ‘tukde tukde gang’ towards the end of his speech. “Congress has had this divide and rule policy as a legacy of British raj. And therefore Congress today is the leader of a ‘tukde tukde gang’.”