Congress can’t see beyond Gandhi family: PM Modi

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My government gave Bharat Ratna to Pranab Mukherjee, says Modi.

New Delhi: Lambasting the Congress for its Gandhi-Nehru family hegemony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked the main Opposition by claiming that it cannot see beyond the “first family”, and had flown so high on ambition and power that it lost connection with the nation’s roots.

He rebutted criticism that he had attempted to corner credit for India’s development and belittled his predecessors.

In his hour-long reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in Lok Sabha, Mr Modi said that the Congress did not even recognise the contributions of leaders outside its ruling family, pointing out that the Congress leaders never once mentioned the contributions of former Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh in their speeches in the lower house.

He even blamed the Congress for “crushing India’s soul” by imposing the Emergency, which incidentally was imposed on June 25 in 1975, the anniversary of which fell on Tuesday. He said, “The Emergency is a blot on the democracy that will never fade.”

Mr Modi alleged that during the Emergency the then Congress-led government had trampled on the spirit of the Constitution, gagged the media and bullied the judiciary.

“We can’t forget those dark days,” he said, attacking the Congress.

Responding to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s dare to jail Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, if the two were guilty of alleged wrongdoings, Mr Modi said, “We are being taunted for not putting ‘them’ in jail. We are not in Emergency, we follow rule of law. These decisions are taken by courts. Courts will decide on jail and bail.”

“You must enjoy while you are out of jail,” he said while referring to a court granting bail to the two top Congress leaders in the National herald case.

The Motion of Thanks was later passed by voice vote. In a rare gesture, Mr Modi praised the first PM of the country Jawaharlal Nehru, describing him as a visionary, and claimed that unlike the Congress, which doesn’t recognise the good work of its own former prime ministers, he himself had from the ramparts of Red Fort acknowledged contributions of all PMs and other prominent leaders in the country’s development.

He said his government gave Bharat Ratna to a veteran Congress leader and former president Pranab Mukherjee but the Opposition could not think about bestowing the same honour to former PMs and its leaders like P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.

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