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Cong and BJP spar over Modi agenda

Cong and BJP spar over Modi agenda
Highlights

Congress and BJP Spar Over Narendra Modi Agenda. It was a slugfest between the Congress and the BJP in Parliament, when Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress Lok Sabha floor leader M Mallikarjun Kharge pooh-poohed Modi’s agenda of governance spelt out in the Presidential Address to Parliament.

New Delhi: It was a slugfest between the Congress and the BJP in Parliament, when Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress Lok Sabha floor leader M Mallikarjun Kharge pooh-poohed Modi’s agenda of governance spelt out in the Presidential Address to Parliament. The BJP leadership accused the previous government of failing on all fronts by leaving the economy in a mess with growth rate less than 5 per cent, inflation as high as 8.9 per cent and fiscal deficit ranging from 4 to 5 per cent, with lowest-ever tax collections.

Leading the charge in Rajya Sabha, while speaking on the Motion of Thanks, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the Modi government, saying that the President’s Address merely repackaged the flagship programmes of the Congress-led UPA Government that was in office for 10 years. Leader of the House Arun Jaitley countered him, saying that there was “no copyright on ideas.” He said that if only the previous government had delivered and implemented the agenda, people would not have given the BJP such a huge mandate. In the Lok Sabha, Congress floor leader M Mallikarjun Kharge wanted the ruling dispensation not to under-estimate the strength of 44 MPs.

He likened them to the Pandavas, who were never cowed down by 100 Kauravas, a remark, which brought cheer on the face of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was seen spiritedly thumping the desk.

Azad said, “Of the programmes mentioned in the President’s Address, 90 per cent have already been formulated and being implemented.” Neither the policies to implement the same nor any timeframe for its implementation have been specified. All the claims made on health, education and panchayati raj were challenged by Azad. The National Rural Health Mission, the ASHA worker scheme, opening up of AIIMS type institutes and sanctioning of 71 cancer hospitals were the landmark achievements of the Congress-led UPA Government, he remarked.

Referring to the slogan of Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas, Azad said this is a simple translation of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s formulation of Inclusive Growth. Taking a dig at another slogan of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance, Azad said that it perhaps meant that only Modi will run the government.

Moving the Motion of Thanks in the Lok Sabha, senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy launched a broadside at the Congress, saying, “We never imagined that we will have to welcome a national party as a regional party in this House.” He asked what prompted such a mandate and himself replied, saying the people punished the Congress for its 65 years of misrule.

When Sushma Swaraj was the Leader of Opposition, she used to give her views in the selection of CVC, CBI Director and Lokpal, but the then PM used to brush them aside and have his way. “But we will not leave you behind, we will take you along. Our Prime Minister is large-hearted,” Rudy claimed. He told Sonia Gandhi that if she offers suggestions, the Government will listen but it will not rule the country the way the Congress did.

There was smile on the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when Rudy said that Gujarat has given Mahatma Gandhi, the Shanti Purush, Sardar Patel, the Lauh Purush and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Vikas Purush. The Motion of Thanks in Lok Sabha was seconded by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

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